If you’ve been a subscriber to my blog or a visitor of our website for even a short while, you’ve heard me talk about my friend Todd Pearage. Todd is not only one of our writers, he is also a youth worker out on the front lines. Or… was…
A little while ago Todd lost his job as a youth pastor.
Yeah… Merry Christmas.
I’ll give you the ugly details in a minute. But first let me brag about my friend. I met Todd years ago on a speaking trip. One of the things that first drew me to the guy was his eagerness to grow and learn everything he could about youth ministry. Fast forward a couple years and Todd began volunteering for our ministry at www.TheSource4YM.com writing curriculum (the brand new Miley music discussion featured on our front page right now is one of his) and doing occasional movie reviews. Now he actually manages our movie review page and has joined us on numerous THE SOURCE PODCASTS, including our annual movie review podcast (the third of which will premier this weekend on our web site).
Our readers have really enjoyed what Todd has offered over the years. After Todd’s “Skate Church” podcast, we received great feedback from people that appreciated Todd’s insight as a guy “out on the front lines” trying to make an eternal difference in the lives of kids.
I wish our little non-profit had the money to hire Todd full time. I feel lucky to have him just a few hours a week.
Needless to say, Todd is having a rough Christmas this year. Please pray for Todd, his wife and his two children.
Unfortunately, Todd’s old church had no idea what they just let slip through their fingers. When they hired him years ago, the head pastor wasn’t even in the hiring process. Long story, but the church was “between pastors.” The group that hired him assured Todd that they were looking for someone “contemporary.”
Todd came into the church, and despite the volatile leadership above him, Todd was a phenomenal youth pastor to those kids. I got a chance to see his ministry first-hand on a few occasions in my travels.
I’ve had plenty of friends lose their jobs in this economy because of downsizing or budget cuts. Todd didn’t lose his job for any of those reasons. Todd got “let go” by his church because he was too “contemporary” (the very thing he was hired for). When Todd first got the job, leadership changed, and they didn’t like “contemporary” any more. A couple examples:
1. He brought in Christian bands for concerts.
2. He didn’t wear a suit on Sunday morning.
Todd is the most humble guy. The “suit” story illustrates this. Todd didn’t have a suit. The “current” pastor told him that was okay. But one week a guy in the congregation with deep pockets told the pastor that Todd should be wearing a suit on Sunday morning. That week, Todd was told by the same pastor to buy a suit.
Todd did, without complaint. I happened to call him when he was shopping for it and he told me the whole story. I (being true to my Irish roots) flipped out. “You’re serious!!!!”
When Todd was eventually “asked to step down,” Todd didn’t make a scene at all. Todd went quietly. The whole situation really has me torn up.
Within two weeks the new pastor hired his best friend’s son.
Todd is the second guy I’ve personally seen land blasted by the church in the last year. In both situations, there was no reason to “let them go,” there was no “sin,” and it definitely wasn’t because they weren’t performing their job well …it was simply bad leadership. Regardless, both my friends exited humbly.
I know Todd will be hired by another church soon… he’s an amazing youth pastor. In the meantime, he’s doing odd jobs to pay bills, writing for us and for Interlinc. Please keep Todd in prayer.
David and I recorded a special podcast with Todd that we’re going to air in January, talking about “transitions” in ministry. I look forward to you all hearing that. In the meantime, I encourage you to all listen to Todd and I this weekend when we release our third annual movie review podcast on our PODCAST PAGE.