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VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 4   |   Release date: September 15, 2004

In This Issue
Resurrection in Question!
Announcements Display Members' Tithe Amounts
Pastor's Schedule "Really Hectic"
Madonna Declares Herself Messiah of Kabbalah
Christian Pledges to Public Radio
Survey Results
Sept. Church Sign of the Month

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Pastor's Schedule "Really Hectic"
Congregation Has No Idea Why

ORANGE COUNTY – The body of believers at Calvary Chapel Stanton, a non-denominational church of 67, in Orange County, California, is miffed at Senior Pastor Dave Nelson's continual bellyaching over his busy schedule. According to some worshippers, Nelson takes every opportunity imaginable to gripe. "At men's study, he's always asking us to lift him up in prayer because he's had a 'rough week' in the ministry. But then, whenever we ask for details, he always comes off vague with some, 'the Lord knows' poppycock. Pardon my French, but we're getting tired of it," said Henry Tranh, 43. "I think he feels guilty because the guys walk in exhausted from work and he looks like he's been in massage therapy all day."

One believer thinks Nelson is simply working out personal insecurities. Longtime CCS member Chris Tomkins of nearby Buena Park offered his diagnosis. "He knows that we know that he knows he has a gravy job. I mean, come on! Pastoring 67 people for $60,000 a year? That's a grand per head, man. And he works out of his house. I use the word 'work' loosely. He always fusses about how all the counseling he does takes a toll on his family, and drains his joy. Who's he counseling during the week? Montel Williams and Judge Judy? There's only 51 adults in the church, and almost all of us have real jobs. We don't have time to be counseled."

Rhonda Fike is fed up with the unreturned phone calls and e-mails. "All I get is the answering machine. Then when I try his e-mail, I get that automated 'out of my office' reply. Out of his office? Where? The den? And then on Sunday morning, it's the 'Forgive me if I didn't return your calls this week - it's been really hectic' routine from the pulpit. I'm sure. A hectic week of housework and bargain shopping with Margaret."

For his part, Pastor Dave says sermon prep for the weekly service takes up much of his time. "I just spend a lot time in the Word. It's the highest calling, and the sheep need to be fed. I'm not complaining, but it's hard work. And then there's the warfare from the enemy when he knows you're gonna preach a doozy. Regular church people can't possibly understand the toll it takes on you. I'm not complaining. I'm just trying to be faithful. But it's hard. Honest." Nelson went on to say that sometimes he puts in 80-hour weeks- far more than when he worked in real estate.

When Harvey Knudsen, 82, got word of Nelson's sermon prep explanation, the seasoned coot scoffed. Speaking from his tool and dye shop, Knudsen said, "Well, not much bang for my tithe buck then. You Holy Observer people need to tell Nelson to work smarter, not harder. If he's taking all week to come up with those poor excuses for sermons he gives, maybe he should go back to real estate appraisal. And another thing, about this supposed 80 hour week he grouses about. Well something's gotta give - eating, sleeping or hanky panky. And judging by that fella's waistline, he hasn't been fasting. And another thing: I fought the Battle of the Bulge, got two Purple Hearts and shrapnel in my knee, and Nelson is sniffling over having to come up with his cheesy 3-point alliterated sermons on time management and raising kids? You know what this is? It's the world's smallest violin. Besides, the guy's preaching makes Porky Pig look like D. L. Moody. He might want to try Toastmasters. Now I need to get back to work. I don't have time for 'Nelson-ing' around."

Pastor Dave asked THO to keep him in prayer. He "has a lot on his plate this week."

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