Well-Intentioned Dragons

Dragons, of course, are fictional beasts – monstrous reptiles with lion’s claws, a serpent’s tail, bat wings, and scaly skin. They exist only in the imagination.

But there are dragons of a different sort, decidedly real. In most cases, thought not always, they do not intend to be sinister; in fact, they’re usually quite friendly. But their charm belies their power to destroy.

Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don’t consider themselves difficult people. Often they are pillars in the community – talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected – but for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church. They are not naturally rebellious or pathological; they are loyal church members, convinced they’re serving God, but they wind up doing more harm than good.

They can drive pastors crazy… or out of the church.

Well-Intentioned Dragons; Ministering to Problem People in the Church, Marshall Shelly, p. 11

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 thoughts on “Well-Intentioned Dragons

  1. After all these comments, I hope you can see that we truly love you, Crystal and the children, you’re all home now.

  2. Shiloh is a mega-church. When you are the leader of a mega-church, you have mega-problems. Every congregation will not be as simple as a church where the congregants have known you all of your life. God KNEW what the obstacles were going to be BEFORE he sent you to Shiloh. He also had enough FAITH IN YOU, to know that you could handle it. Now, have FAITH IN HIM to know that He will bring you out!
    “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you” or as the songwriter put it “I go to the rock of my salvation. I go to the stone that the builders rejected…When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the rock.”

  3. Dear H.B.:

    I know the book “Well-Intentioned Dragons” really well as it was required reading in one of my undergraduate class.

    Of course, in the Black church we would call them “Hell raisers”. Listen, be of good cheer my friend as God is doing a work of pruining and cleansing.

    Stay focused and keep trusting, and the people will stand behind you as they know enough of the truth to realize that if they remain obedient, God will bless Shiloh like she has never been blessed!

    On a personal note, as a Floridian myself, I can tell you that we Florida folks can be a mess! We are a little more bold and brazen in the “Deep South” than they are in Southern California.

    You are going to be just fine! Keep preaching the Word of God to the best of your ability and God will honor you before the Congregation.

    Blessings to you!


  4. Pastor Charles and Family,


    God brought you here. He has remained . His hand is visible.
    The Spirit of the True and Living God magnified His appearance in Shiloh during your first 10am sermon: God Will Give You Strength. The Holy Spirit was speaking to All of us.

  5. Pastor Charles,
    As a member of a Baptist church for more than 50 years, a bible studying person, Christ loving and trying everday to be obey the written word of God. I am still puzzled, if the Pastor is accountable to God and the leaders. Who are the leaders accountable to within the church?
    Has Acts 6:2-6 changed? The text seemed to say the people selected and elected the 7 at the advice of the Twelve. Who changed the Word? Their only assignment was to handle the business given to them by the Twelve. It appears that in today’s Baptist church there are some that have placed themselves in the wrong business.

  6. Pastor Charles,
    Thank you for last night information meeting.It caused alot of poeple hearts and mind to be at peace and rest. You are doing a wonderful and awesome work at Shiloh.”Don’t Get It Twisted” You are a blessing to this great church and city. You seem genuinely concern for the sheeps of Shiloh and elsewhere. It is evidence everytime you step foot in the pupit and everytime you pray. I was thinking about your messege from Sunday and last night meeting and I decided to write you. God does not only require a song or a hymn or a ceremonial offering for us to enter his presence. We can dance play instrument and so on but, as we have all seen God also requires for us is to worship him in spirit and truth. Yea we can play and dance, but God wants us to come clean before him allowing him to wash us with water from the lavor of his word. God is intersted in our heart. For God to be able to do everything he wants to do for us and through us we must have our own heart completely open to him. For changes to come with trust and belief in you pastor, many need to work on the weak heart of theirs. Many are afraid to trust and open their hearts and accept changes because of past shame, hurts and different differences members has had in the past and present leaders of the Church. Some of them think they our Shiloh and we was member serve them.(old skool…)”Child Please!!!” When our confidence and trust are in God and we keep our heart open to him by admitting any shortcomings that we have and need his help in handling instead of trying to hide them, we are positioning oursleves to hear from God and obey. I hope I’m making sense. Satan tries as much as opposible to complicate our lives and keep us out of close fellowship with God. When we aren’t close fellowship with God, we don’t hear the instructions God is trying to give us,and we do things according to the way we think they should be done. This is sad but true. When we follow our way, often we complicate our lives even more by adding more things to do to the things God has intended for his people. Pastor Stay Strong and Keep on Keepin on. God has it all in control…
    The next time Satans at Shiloh or anywhere else try you tell them “Child BOO!!!”LOL Be blessed Pastor…
    Luv ya!

  7. Pastor Charles,

    I rededicated my life to Christ shortly after your arrival and I have been growing by leaps and bounds in my Christian walk every since. I have a hunger for the Word that I have never had before and I believe that the teachings received through your ministry both in the New Members Class and through your sermons have been the catalyst behind this transformation. I can’t imagine why any church leader would have issue with anything that you are proposing. It is obvious that you are anointed by God. This is evident by the mere fact that God has been showering Shiloh with blessings and adding to the church since you arrived. I can understand some of the leaders being over-protective after “Gilyard Gate” :-), but it is now time for them to let go and let God.

    I love the fact that we are fellowshipping with other churches. I love that we are praying and fasting as a church. I was overjoyed to hear your sermon and instruction on how to praise God. This was looooooooooooooooong overdue and I hope everyone takes this to heart and offers up uninhibited praise to God going forward for He is worthy. I would love to see a greater emphasis on our Evangelism ministry but I see that we have some classes coming up in this area so I know we are on the right track. God is already doing great things at Shiloh and I know that this just the beginning. I pray that He will continue to provide you with the patience to weather this storm and the determination to execute His plan and see it thru to fruition. I also pray that he removes ALL barriers so that you can continue to do the great work that GOD has commanded you to do at Shiloh.


  8. Pastor,
    as you can surely see and, and I hope, are becoming increasingly aware, is the fact that you are well received and loved as our Pastor. It is not the intent of those in leadership that I know of to hamper your ministry. I often and sincerely encourage you to do what the Lord has laid on your heart to do.

    There is no doubt in my mind that God brought you here. None. And I’m sure He knows who he sent.

    After your speech and prayer last night, some of the congregants think we’re steppiing on your coattails. My earnest desire is to continue to build on a loving, growing, faith based and Christ- filled community of believers at Shiloh. As you aptly put, we are still healing and, I might add reeling, from Gilyard. Collectively, I know that the good men and women who fought so hard to keep Shiloh together during our dark days, love Shiloh, as do I, with everything in them. This may cause some to pause, but it’s out of a protective nature and not so much a “dragon” stance. I admit we have some like that, as does every organized religious group with time and history on their sides. I try to follow the advise of Paul, who said “as much as is possible, be at peace with one another”. Sometimes the thought of change causes more angst than than the action itself, and leaves those who feel change unnecessary to make a decision to accept or leave.

    My point is this: if prayer and a clear conscience is consistent with changes you wish to make, then God will have His way no matter what.

    As Deacons, it is our biblical responsibility to support the Overseer of our souls, and to support and minister to the church body. We all learned many lessons from the past two years, and we would dishonor God and our calling to His people if we BOTH fail to take advantage of the blessings He has done to right this ship, and to return with Godspeed to our first love..edifying the Church body through the Word, winning souls and glorifying Jesus The Christ! Be encouraged!!

    Dea. Daryl Jones

  9. Pastor Charles,
    The “sheep” of Shiloh loves you and your family. The “goats” that’s another talk show. Your request that we pump up the volume in our prayers will be honored.. Psalm 37 is my additive.
    It appears that the majority heard you say in more than one sermon, “Let the past be the past and move on” We love the movement.. People heal at different rates depending on the condition of one’s body and mind. If your body belong to God, He is able to heal it in the twinkling of an eye. There will always be a minority. The bible has a name for those against the will of God. I read that when your ministry is God driven it flows- when it is man driven it is forced. The Shiloh family appears to be loving the flow. The unfriendly forces will be revealed in time. We enjoy the fellowship with other church families. The other changes you have presented have been so uplifting and a blessing. We know you are a Man of God. The devil has to flee and he will, but he always come back. He’s a defeated foe. Stand and continue to be strong. There has been a great change in the hearts of Shiloh since you and your family arrived. You can feel the love. The unlovely is angry. The old folks would say: Ain’t nobody mad, but the devil. The annointing makes the difference. Keep your whole armour on night and day. Watch God Work! The battle is fought and the victory is already won. The church belong to God not man!

  10. Love and Blessings to you Pastor C…and love and blessings to the dragons…all dragons have their day and the WORD is a dragons kryptonite…but you know that…



  11. Please let us know if you are in need of any dragon slayers; there must be some out there for hire somewhere:)!

    On a serious note, we love you and truly appreciate your efforts to lead us according to God’s will and take the church to another level. God is good and we are blessed. As we continue to uplift our church and its leaders in prayers, I hope we can all keep our eyes on the church’s main purpose…to honor and glorify God.

    Thanks for all you do.

  12. Pastor Charles,

    Your post is right on point, most of the times these dragons are people who are resistant to change or who have held an office in the church for a long time or members who just plain have hell in their heart, they feel like they know it all and they don’t want to hear anyone else’s view point, my dad who is deceased pastored for over 30 years and I have heard many stories from my dad about these same dragons in the church. Pastor you asked that we pray for you and the leaders last night, I have been doing that all the time, but as “Emeril” the chef would say “I’m going to kick my prayers up a notch” and continue to pray that the leaders and “dragons” of the church would follow you as you follow Christ and get on one accord, I know that God sent you to us at Shiloh to lead and teach his people.

    God be Praise, Pastor Charles and be encouraged, the battle is not yours, it’s the Lords.

  13. Pastor Charles,

    I want to take a moment to let you know that I think you are doing awesome works within Shiloh.

    You mentioned last night in our church meeting that sometimes we / people are resistant to change. You are so right. However, we (as people) must realize that change is good if it’s being lead my God. Personally, I am so grateful to see and be a part of some of the changes you have made within Shiloh.

    As you asked, I will continue to pray for you and the leaders of our church so that you all can be and continue to be on one accord.

    Be encouraged and may God continue to bless and keey you.