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Do you get pressured by people in your church? (long & WWYD)


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I'm curious to know if anyone else has dealt with this type of situation? Have you been pressured by people at church? Would this situation bother you? Do you think these activities are overkill or poorly designed (as I do)? I'm afraid I'm going to say something nasty to this man soon though I patiently repeat the same statements about my health, obligations to my extended family, etc. over and over. Any idea how I can get this man to stop pressuring us without being mean? Read on for more details....sorry....it's long!

 

Our family is constantly pressured to do activities with our church members. We like our church and are friendly with many of the people there, but just cannot commit to many activities for many reasons.

 

1. Our church is 30-40mins away from our home which necessitates at least 1hr of driving time and eats up a lot of gas.

2. Family nights are scheduled on Fri from 8pm-10pm but often continue until 10:30 or 11. We get home so late and I am exhausted and good for very little the next day. Oh--and the fun activity comes first, the devotional last, so if you leave early that looks really bad.

3. There is no regular schedule, so sometimes the 'advance notice' is less than a week ahead.

4. Often they are scheduled for Sat when we may have 4H dog shows, need to grocery shop, get laundry done, or have obligations with my or my Dh's family.

5. The Sat activities are all day and don't allow time for us to get home and let the dogs out. Often they involve driving long distances to spend the day somewhere.

6. Homeschooling and our extracurriculars tire us out. Just because we do not already have plans does not mean that we can lug the family out all day or night. We need some down time!

6. I am dealing with chronic pain and fibromyalgia plus possible auto-immune disorder. I also help out my widowed mother and my great uncle who need me for various reasons. My plate is full.

 

My children do participate in children's choir and they play the piano for some church activities when we can manage it. But the pressure never lets up and no matter how many times I explain that I have health problems that require me to exercise and get plenty of rest and all the above etc. the elder who plans the activities is constantly pressuring us.

 

Every single time we don't attend an activity he finds us after church on Sunday and makes a point to tell us how much we were missed. Leading up to the activity he will ask us over and over again if we are coming. Even if we have already said no he will say "Sure you don't want to change your mind?"

 

The latest activity he wanted us to attend is starting tonight and involves bringing the kids to the church to spend the entire weekend and staying overnight. I cannot stay overnight at the church. I will not sleep and I will be in pain. It would be torture for me. I told him repeatedly, but he continued to ask.

 

Then he and the other homeschooling family at our church started pressuring me to leave the kids there for the weekend. :w00t:

There are five other churches sending kids and parents to our church to participate. I know nothing about any of these people. This is the first time our church is hosting this type of event. No mention of any background checks---and they want me to leave my kids there for the entire weekend and pick them up on Sun at church? No way, no how. Anyway, my kids have things they need to get done this weekend at home and we would like to have some family time together that doesn't involve other people. We ended up compromising and agreeing to attend tonight's activity.

 

Now the pressure is starting for VBS, which is every night for 2 weeks long! We did it one year and it completely exhausted me having to rush through dinner, drive through rush hour traffic, being out late, having no family time with Dh for 2 weeks.

 

The pressure is starting to really bother me, yet I know the man who plans these events (and is single with no kids, btw) sincerely likes us and thinks everyone would love to have us attend. Still, I am becoming a little resentful and having not so nice feelings about this elder and the other family who add to the pressure.

 

As this evening approaches I am getting worked up b/c I know he's going to pressure us to try to get us to attend tomorrow's activity which involves driving a couple of hours to another location, a historical tour, a hike, lunch, more outdoor activities back at the church, a cook out and a campfire! When I told a friend of mine she just laughed and said "there is no way we would ever do that. It sounds exhausting!"

 

Edited by shanvan
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I am a Mormon. We are all in each others' business. :001_smile: .I say that with tons of love for my fellow Mormons. ;) There is gentle pressure to be very involved at Church and w/ each other in general. The only part I mind is if people drop in without calling. The rest I ha ve accepted as the LDS cultural norm, part of being in my ward family.

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You owe no explanation.

 

"I am sorry, but we won't be able to attend".

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

I have these issues too, and am learning that when you tire out the family, the spiritual value is lost. We drive to church, we spend great effort to go to church, we make no excuses to miss church...

 

Extra (non-service) events for the church? Nope! :D

We only go when we all want to.

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Yikes. That made me frustrated just reading about it.

 

Is there a way you can *only* go to the main service (sundays or whenever it is) and scoot out of the really quick so you don't have to talk to that one man? Maybe he'll get the hint after a while.

 

The only other thing I can think of is to say as nicely as you can, but firmly: "My family and I will attend the meetings that can; however, due to our circumstances, that will not be every.single.meeting. I am thankful that you are enthusiastic about all this, but we need you to respect our decision about this. If you tell us about it once, you do not have to remind us."

 

:iagree: I would be very firm with him that if you do not sign up for something, that means you do not plan to attend. Period. His calling you repeatedly at home after you've said no is very bizarre. In reality I'd have my DH talk to him, because I am terrible about confrontation, but my DH is great at it. In fact, I'd probably be looking for a different church, but I don't know if that's an option for you.

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This type of pressure would not work for me. I'd find a new church - preferably one closer to home.

 

:iagree:

 

As a very independent person who can be a bit stubborn, I couldn't tolerate that situation for more than about ... ooh, 5 minutes? It would be my idea of a nightmare.

 

:grouphug:

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I would start looking for a new church. Seriously, if you have explained numerous times why these activities are not a good fit for you/your family, and the church is not respectful of that, I would leave. Has your dh explained that your family is not able to participate in much outside of Sunday services?

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My word. Does your husband attend church with you? HE needs to take this man aside and lay down the boundary to STOP pressuring you about activities. It is absolutely NONE of this man's business what you commit to or not. This is a sign of an unhealthy church and I would be out the door in a NY minute. What you decide is important to your family is YOUR business and none of his.

Do not let badgering, questioning or continual harrassment make you feel guilty or change your priorities. There aren't any other churches that would suffice? I know it's important to find one that aligns with our beliefs, but if this is the closest one, then I think you should look around and re-evaluate what is most important.

If your husband can't/won't put this man in his place, then you need to go to the pastor (Hopefully, this bothersome man is NOT the pastor!) and ask him to corrall him. This man is being extremely disrespectful.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. No one deserves this. :grouphug:

Edited by JVA
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Stop trying to reason with him; your reasons are not important to him. What I would do is go over his head in church leadership and let someone know they need to tell him to back off, they are going to lose your family if he keeps it up, and you are doing all you can to participate.

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Sometimes I just say what I want and then later apologize, but the point has been made. What would happen if you just responded to his nagging by saying, "dude, we love you and this church, but sometimes I don't want to come on Sunday because your nagging about other times we dont come makes me want to stay home and drink vodka in my orange juice for breakfast!"

 

And then later email saying, " gosh, that came out way too strng. I just meant to say that we are only coming on Sunday's, but I shouldn't have said it that way. So sorry."

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I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are 10 and under. That weekend is way too much "fun" for us. And two weeks of evening vbs, no way. We don't do sleepovers unless it's family, so I wouldn't leave my kids either. I agree with the pp, have your husband tell the guy to leave you alone.

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Yikes. That made me frustrated just reading about it.

 

The only other thing I can think of is to say as nicely as you can, but firmly: "My family and I will attend the meetings that can; however, due to our circumstances, that will not be every.single.meeting. I am thankful that you are enthusiastic about all this, but we need you to respect our decision about this. If you tell us about it once, you do not have to remind us."

 

:iagree: and :grouphug: because I know this has to be frustrating. My husband is the part-time Assoc. Pastor at our church and because we have an adult child who is disabled, we often cannot participate in activities, especially in the evenings. Most people understand, but some don't (or won't). I'm o.k. with that most of the time. We make decisions based on our family priorities and are not accountable to others for those choices. Stick to your decision and don't feel badly about it. I know that's easier said than done though. And FWIW I would never do a 2 week VBS with the drive time you have much less leave my kids over the weekend for a church activity. Mom's sanity is too important. :D

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Would your DH be willing to talk to him? That, IMO, is way over the top. This type of thing is why we didn't end up being a part of a few churches we have visited in the past. We now attend a very large church where there are plenty of options, lots of invitations, but no demands. I agree with a PP that your church sounds unhealthy. Are all the elders/staff this way, or just the one guy??

 

I would also not leave your children there based on what you describe. Or give in out of guilt or obligation. Unfortunately, in real life, you just can't attend everything. If they don't let up, you're going to feel increasingly uncomfortable there. I'm sorry, it stinks. :grouphug:

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Sometimes I just say what I want and then later apologize, but the point has been made. What would happen if you just responded to his nagging by saying, "dude, we love you and this church, but sometimes I don't want to come on Sunday because your nagging about other times we dont come makes me want to stay home and drink vodka in my orange juice for breakfast!"

 

And then later email saying, " gosh, that came out way too strng. I just meant to say that we are only coming on Sunday's, but I shouldn't have said it that way. So sorry."

 

:lol: I would just love to have the nerve to say something like that to someone. I just don't have the nerve, nor the style. You're a star Danestress ;).

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This type of pressure would not work for me. I'd find a new church - preferably one closer to home.

 

Same here.... Although we aren't there every time the church is open, for us, the fellowship, both official and unofficial, is just as important as Sunday morning services. We could never choose a church that was so far away that we couldn't participate on a regular basis.

Edited by CathieC
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Could you talk to your pastor and explain the situation to him? That might be something to try first. He may not be aware that the person organizing different functions is making a nusiance of himself in order to get people to attend.

 

Otherwise, I think at some point I would have to tell him point blank to please stop. Badgering someone, for whatever reason, is just plain rude. You owe him no explanation.

 

 

If all else fails, I'd find another church. Just reading your post made me feel stressed. I seriously would come unglued on the man, or I'd just never go back.

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:grouphug: I am so sorry. This situation feels wrong on so many levels and you are not at fault. It has been many years since I have been part of a religious community, but my understanding would be that you have a personal spiritual obligation to be a good steward of your family's time, resources, relationships, and of your own health. This man is asking you to violate that obligation. No matter how good his intentions appear, he seems to have his own agenda and will not back off unless you meet his agenda. Does everyone in the church face this type of pressure or does your family face more than the usual? What does he personally get out of having you do all of those things?

 

Sorry, but for some reason my radar is bleeping like crazy. Maybe it's just that I don't like to see someone who is doing the best that they can, be pressured to do more than may be good for them.

 

You are going to need to show significant backbone now before things get ugly.:grouphug:

 

Your church should be source of comfort for you, not a source of chronic anxiety.

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I'd leave. Actually, I did leave a place like that. It was hard, sometimes painful, and meant having to go to lengths to protect our privacy. But it is not an understatement to say it is the best thing that ever happened to my family. Our stress level is down. If I get sick, I'm not concerned about being badgered. No more pressure to have the kids involved in things we aren't comfortable with.

 

And my family is happy.

 

It wasn't easy but my only regret is we didn't go sooner. The answer might not be for you to leave your church. Maybe there is a way to get that guy off your case, but there is still the amount of driving. You are not out of line to be worked up or feeling stressed. :grouphug:

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...

 

Sorry, but for some reason my radar is bleeping like crazy.

 

...

 

 

Gotta say I felt the same vibe from your OP. You say this is a SINGLE man? Perhaps he just doesn't have a clue what family life is really like (from a parental perspective).

 

But I can tell you, my dh would be telling him he's not allowed to talk to me any more! Any news and reminders have to go through dh from now on.

 

Surely you're not the only one in your congregation feeling this way.

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:grouphug: I can completely relate to you here. We also drive approx. 30-40 minutes to our church and there is high pressure to participate in EVERYTHING. There is also the "three to thrive" mentality=come to all three regular services to be a "good Christian." We have services Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening.

 

We have one vehicle and my DH works second shift (3-11). Unless I drive him to work and then drag all three of my kids out at 11:30 or later to pick him up, we don't attend evening services(DH works every other Sunday and on his Sundays off we like to just spend time together because that is often his ONLY day off). Well, I do take them to AWANAS from Sept-May most Wed. nights and DH tries to carpool home with a coworker who lives nearby, but we don't like to do that too often. No one ever says anything directly, but we've noticed several church members pull away from us because we now only attend on Sunday mornings as a family.

 

Our church also has soul winning times on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings and we've never been able to attend those. It has been implied that we aren't witnessing enough because we don't. :glare:

 

We had VBS this past week and we did not attend and I got SEVERAL messages on fb about "missing us," etc. *sigh*

 

We are NOT church hoppers, but I've really been put off with our church home lately. DH doesn't want to leave yet though and I don't really either. If we do, I know we'd end up at the church my FIL pastors and while I have a great deal of respect for my FIL, I would be very unhappy in that church for a variety of reasons, so I just try to muddle through and hope that eventually things will be different.

 

Sorry that got long winded, I don't mean to high jack your thread, this is just a sore spot for me lately. I would ask DH to talk to the man or your pastor and see what happens and then go from there.

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We live 5 minutes from our church, and that would exhaust me!

 

It sounds like you have been clear about boundaries and this man won't man won't respect that. I agree you need to bring another voice into it. DH, if that's doable, or someone else in church leadership.

 

It doesn't matter WHY you don't want to go, only that you don't.

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Sounds like he's clueless.

Family nights from 8-10? Really? That's crazy! 6-8 I would expect. 8-10 sounds nuts... not even kidding.

Honestly, I really think that this guy is trying but he doesn't have perspective, being single and childless. We had some in our church like that for awhile, but now most everyone (who planned these things, I mean) has at least one kid and things have started changing some. ;) And I really think that he probably thinks that things are easier for you than they are, and that he is being helpful or making you guys feel wanted by asking repeatedly.

I don't know that it's worth leaving the church over... it just depends on how much you like it otherwise, and if you have anyplace closer where you could be more involved. I will admit that we currently live about 5 minutes from church (10 if we hit all red lights ;) ) and we're uber-involved, and we always have been. The farthest we lived was about 15 minutes. I wouldn't go any further than 15-20 if we were to move. Not that that's related to your situation in any way... :tongue_smilie:

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We attend church and activities when we can but our church is very respectful about when we can not. They all know the problems that we deal with and never put pressure on. If they did we would not be going there.

 

I would also give no explanation at this point. I would smile, say,'No, but thank you for asking." turn around and go the other way.

 

These are well meaning people but their well meaning gets to the point of being rude.

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I would suggest reading "So you don't want to go to church anymore". http://www.amazon.com/You-Dont-Want-Church-Anymore/dp/0964729229/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340399007&sr=8-1&keywords=so+you+dont+want+to+go+to+church+anymore

 

It's really a fiction book that shows motivations behind all these activities and people who are seeking to have honest personal relationships with other Christians (the "church"). It's not a book to discourage you from going to church, but it's a really good read about why we do the things we do.

 

Beth

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You owe no explanation.

 

"I am sorry, but we won't be able to attend".

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

... when you tire out the family, the spiritual value is lost.

 

:iagree:

Just say you can't. You don't have to give any reasons. :grouphug:

 

Or, if you feel you absolutely have to say something, if there is an activity you do participate in, say, "I'm so sorry we can't participate in VBS this year, since we spent so much energy on the food drive." or whatever.

 

My questions: is this just one elder who really wants a good turnout for the events he is planning? Who is perhaps a pushy person who can not take NO? Or is this the general way that things happen in this church? Are all the leaders like this? Do you have friends at this church who do not pressure you? Do people want you to come to activities because they want you to share the fun/blessings, or do they feel that you are lacking in some way and need to be ministered to?

I think the answers to these questions would determine whether this is a good place for you to be.

 

Now, my own church is not exactly composed of shrinking violets. :D I have had to learn my own limits and set my boundaries, and then communicate them nicely, and repeat as needed. I really do think, though, that sometimes if you offer excuses, you are just asking for pushback.

HTH:grouphug:

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

I am Mormon and yep we have meetings too that we are encouraged to attend. But it seems you have more. There is no way we could do late family nights like you mentioned. Dh works and we like our sleep. I also live far away from our church meetinghouse. Thankfully because most of the other members do as well they really limit weekday activities. We have very few and I feel no guilt taking care of my family first.

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That's one reason I no longer attend church; I just can't handle the pressures. I'm maxed out right now.

 

:grouphug:

 

This. Us too.

 

Who is this guy anyway?? I would be apt to tell him to mind his own flipping business....and I wouldn't be nice about it:glare:

 

Leave my kids for a weekend....fat chance! This sounds totally bizarre to me.

 

Seriously, tell the guy to bug off!! If he insists on continuing to harass you ( and it is harassment! ). I would get dh, and /or the pastor to have a little man to man chatty chat with him...

 

Faithe

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"I really appreciate your desire to make sure we are involved, and your enthusiasm for this ministry is exciting to see. But, our lifestyle just isn't condusive to multiple outings per week. Quite honestly, we don't always want to participate. While I understand it's your "job" to get people to come, I feel that you are stepping over the line by asking us more than once after we've said "no." I'm not the kind of person who changes my mind. So, I have to ask you to please stop trying to get me to say "yes" after I've already given an answer."

 

If that doesn't work, take it up the chain of command. :grouphug:

 

Personally, I am always leery of anyone who wants that much of my child's time- especially spiritual time. I tend to take it to mean that they have some motive that I might not care for, or that they think I'm not doing a good enough job. HOWEVER, I note that many families want their children to have a lot of spiritual nurturing from others, so I try to keep my own personal bias to myself unless pressed. If someone really, really pushed, I would have to be honest and say, "I don't leave my children with people unless I know them extremely well." (But that type of comment tends to offend. ;) )

Edited by MomatHWTK
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"I've already told you no."

 

And if he keeps pushing:

 

"I've already told you no. When you harrass me about changing my decision, it makes me seriously consider leaving the church. I've answered you. Please leave me alone."

 

And if he STILL pushes:

 

"Would you back off already?! I. SAID. NO."

 

Honestly, I'd probably jump to #3 in a big fat hurry. I simply don't have the paitence.

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Thank you for all of the responses. Now at least I don't feel like I'm a nut for not thinking this sounds like a 'fun' weekend. I like the suggestion of going to our pastor. I've tried directing this elder to my husband, but Dh isn't there for choir practice b/c he's still at work, so I get pressured then. I also think Dh might get pretty nasty and over the top, though I'm not sure why I care. I'm going to talk with Dh about all of the great advice I've received. I'm saddened that this seems to be such a problem in churches today, so much so that many have left---and I completely understand why they have left. We could quite possibly end up with the same decision at some point if this kind of pressure continues.

 

I should have also mentioned it is a very small church, so it is noticeable if we don't attend an event. We cannot completely avoid the elder who is pressuring us, partly b/c the church is small and also b/c he is the youth choir director.

 

I really don't think he is aiming to get my kids alone or anything like that. (Though I still wouldn't agree to leaving them at church for the weekend without us.) I think he really has no clue what family life and homeschooling or raising children entail. Also no clue what it is like to live with chronic pain flare ups.

 

Before attending this church we had church at home and sometimes I miss those days. I have no desire to go looking for another church. The problem is with this one particular elder. There are some very sweet elderly people we have become attached to and my Dc have some good friends as well as older teens who are great role models. There are some kids that aren't such great role models too, but that seems to be the case no matter where you go.

 

Sometimes the parents in the other homeschooling family make comments that reveal they feel pressured too, but they will never say anything for fear of hurting this elders' feelings. Like us, they don't attend a lot of the activities. When we agree to attend or have our Dc play the piano at a church event, I have heard this man use our attendance to pressure them. I was shocked when they agreed to this entire weekend. They also commit to VBS for the entire 2 weeks every year.

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I think sometimes you best help the person (the elder) and the church by speaking the truth in love. We have been pressured too. Some folks "get" what we are saying about our unique situation and some don't. Everyone needs a teachable spirit, even those with the best of intentions. :grouphug:

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"I really appreciate your desire to make sure we are involved, and your enthusiasm for this ministry is exciting to see. But, our lifestyle just isn't condusive to multiple outings per week. Quite honestly, we don't always want to participate. While I understand it's your "job" to get people to come, I feel that you are stepping over the line by asking us more than once after we've said "no." I'm not the kind of person who changes my mind. So, I have to ask you to please stop trying to get me to say "yes" after I've already given an answer."

 

If that doesn't work, take it up the chain of command. :grouphug:

 

Personally, I am always leery of anyone who wants that much of my child's time- especially spiritual time. I tend to take it to mean that they have some motive that I might not care for, or that they think I'm not doing a good enough job. HOWEVER, I note that many families want their children to have a lot of spiritual nurturing from others, so I try to keep my own personal bias to myself unless pressed. If someone really, really pushed, I would have to be honest and say, "I don't leave my children with people unless I know them extremely well." (But that type of comment tends to offend. ;) )

 

:iagree:

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I haven't read all the responses, so I apologize if I am just repeating what was said.

 

They can only pressure you as much as allow them to do. Want to leave early on Friday evening? Do it. Want to miss a day of church? Do it. Do whatever you feel is best for you and your family.

 

Will they gossip? They shouldn't. If they do, that is their choice and not your responsibility. Will they make you feel bad? They shouldn't. If they do, you will know that they are not for you.

 

Resist the urge to please them at the expense of your family. Try it for two weeks. After two weeks of participating on a schedule that suits/best interest of your family, you will know whether or not that church is for you. If all goes well, stay. If anything negative happens, leave.

 

Remember not to go into detailed explanations. The less you say the better. For example:

 

Them: We missed you at church last night.

You: Thank you. How is your wife/husband/child/parent?

 

Them: We noticed you left early last night. Is everything ok?

You: Thank you for noticing. We're fine. How is your wife/husband/child/parent?

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I know this has already been said but your husband should speak to the elder directly. If he is not there when the elder puts the pressure on you, he should just call him. Maybe your husband should attend an elders' meeting and bring it up.

 

Some people think "church family" means you do everything with your church. Maybe this guy is like that.

 

But he needs to stop pressuring people. His type of behavior is one of the reasons people are leaving church, as evidenced by some of the responses here.

 

You should stop explaining to him and stop feeling guilty about it. But if your husband is a member of the church too, he needs to be the one telling the elder to back off. I'm surprised he hasn't taken that on already, unless he never goes or is otherwise unaware of the problem.

 

I hope nothing I said sounds harsh. I don't mean to be. As the wife of a future pastor, I am very mindful that people are leaving the Church in droves and I understand why. We haven't experienced that sort of over-scheduling and I hope we never do. (Certainly don't ever plan to do it if my husband is ever pastor!)

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This issue is what helped us decide on a church when we were looking for a new church home (had just moved to a new city). We hadn't even committed to the church at the time and I was being repeatedly asked to help with nursery and teach Sunday school over the summer. I told her over and over again that we had other commitments and I didn't have the time to take on anything else. After she called me asking AGAIN, I told her no (AGAIN), and that we hadn't even decided if we wanted to stay at the church. That put her off, but by then I was already decided that it wasn't the right church home for us.

Maybe you should consider finding a church closer to your home. I know how hard it is to leave a church, but this is actually a legitimate reason.

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We are very involved in our church, but I would talk to the pastor if I were in your position. Explain it to him like you explained it to us. Hopefully, that will be the end of that. In the mean time, don't give reasons, just state your plan/answer and stick to it. :grouphug:

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Well at least they know you're there. :D The opposite end is being there and no one asking you to be involved. We've been on both ends.

 

Honestly, I'd grab the bull by the horns and be very blunt, all said with a smile. Next time he asks, I'm pat him on the upper arm and grip it firmly and say , " ______(insert name), I appreciate you making sure we know about activities and making us feel wanted. However, as I've told you numerous time I have health issues and we're guarding our family time during this season of our lives. I'd appreciate it if you would accept our no as a no. I really enjoy _________(insert activity you do with this guy), but I do have to limit our interaction. Thanks, I appreciate you taking this to heart."

 

There is being enthusiastic and wanting others to join and there is being pushy. Some people need it spelled out bluntly. Not accepting your no would irk me because that's not good communication skills for someone in church leadership.

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I hate when the internet eats my post . . . . :glare:

 

Okay. I want to know "what is in your constant attendance for him?" does he get paid by how many people attend? He. does. not. care. why you can't make all these events, just that you aren't there. He. does. not. care. that your family is foregoing sleep or threatening your health in doing so. Or forking out for excessive amounts of money in a tight economy for gas at today's prices to spend considerable time on the road multiple times a week. If he was sincere in his "care", he'd accept your answers.

 

do NOT offer up "excuses". to this type of person, an excuse is merely a foothold in your door to make you cave to their will. the way to deal with him is the same as with anyone who keeps asking you things. "no thank you/ we won't be able to come - hope you have a good time". etc. as many times at you have too! repeated until you feel like a broken record if necessary. you may follow that up with "I've shared my reasons" (do NOT eleaborate on them. remember? he does not care about your reasons. If he did care, he wouldn't constantly ignore them.) then walk away.

 

eta: I should add - this man displays a serious lack of respect for others.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I am a Mormon. We are all in each others' business. :001_smile: .I say that with tons of love for my fellow Mormons. ;) There is gentle pressure to be very involved at Church and w/ each other in general. The only part I mind is if people drop in without calling. The rest I ha ve accepted as the LDS cultural norm, part of being in my ward family.

I'm a mormon. the ONLY times I've ever experienced the type of pushiness the op is experiencing was with someone who was downright RUDE and was considered by many as "having a lot to learn".

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Yes, you are being unduly pressured. YOU decide your commitment level. You and God. This man is probably well-meaning but he is NOT the Holy Spirit who convicts you.

 

Pressure at church is ongoing and ridiculous and also unbiblical. Just as we are to give financially in a cheerful way, without pressure, we are to serve that way in everything.

 

If you can't, this is just not your season. I've had heavy seasons, where I've run ministries. But not right now. We will also be gone a lot on weekends during hockey season.

 

So, I will just repeat as often as necessary, "Thank you for thinking of us. We do have other commitments. Hope you have a great time! (as I'm walking away)".

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This type of pressure would not work for me. I'd find a new church - preferably one closer to home.

 

This.

 

Its fine to go to church a ways away. And even fine for them to hold activities that you can't/don't want to attend. It is NOT fine for them to pressure you like this. Is the fellow pressuring on staff or just another church member? You might talk to staff/pastor about it if you'd like to stay. Otherwise I'd just leave.

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Just wanted to say that I understand exactly what you are saying. We have a similar set of circumstances. I have found simply smiling politely and saying not this time/week works for me. I have explained to the minister's wife, an assistant head teacher, about our activities and my need for a "good" Monday. She understands completely but others do not. My big pressure is the need to stay for second service. We drive a long ways and we are very fortunate that people invite us for lunch/the afternoon so that we can attend. When we do we have over 12 hours away from home. I am so tired on Monday very little is accomplished. Monday is the day we plan the whole week school wise. I assign a bulk of their work. We plan which day to quiz/test on. We work hard that day. My kids are 12 and 14 so this works really well for us. A tired Monday usually leads to an unproductive week school wise. My job is to educate my children-- we also do religious studies at home so they are not missing anything vital. IMO.

 

Just smile and say " Not this time" and feel no guilt. I do.

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I've never experienced that type of pressure and it would not go down well if I did. We made it clear early on to one of the church elders that we were not in a position to be very involved and he was understanding, gracious and loving. I would expect nothing less.

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