Several years ago, I sat with a good friend, listening to a story that was horribly disappointing. A close friend of hers, a fellow church member, had been told she was unwanted at their church. Invited to never attend again. By the pastor and some of the church leadership. The story was offensive because the details of the incident were never investigated by the pastor. The complainant misquoted one statement and a church member is disenfranchised.
We see the worst of Christians in church, and it’s difficult to reconcile with Jesus’ teachings when it’s a pastor or it involves church “leadership.” When it happens to you or a close friend, it just doesn’t seem that it could possibly get any worse.
On the other hand, the most disappointing that is experienced may be viewed that way because the good is overlooked. Keep the following in mind and be uplifted by the provision God makes through His children:
- Those who give of time to help those in need. It’s not usually difficult at all to find churches who assist others by locating those within the fellowship who have the talent to repair, or provide transportation, or assist in some other way. Needs most often surface when there are
- Empathy for the people who have physical or material need. Many Christians are very caring and sensitive to others’ hurts and disappointments. Don’t assume that because one person in a church isn’t caring that all people in that church don’t care. It may involve some cautious searching for someone on your wavelength, but that person is there.
- Those who sacrifice to lend a hand to someone else. I have trouble believing that there are churches who don’t have anyone to care enough to give when they learn of a need. Many times, people give when their own finances are tight.
- Many give the gift of time and support even when the recipient is unknown. Whether another church member or someone in the community, if it’s a worthy cause, there are those in church who give to help.
- During times of national calamity, community disaster or personal concerns, loving Christians jump in to help in amazing ways. During hurricanes in south Louisiana over the past 6 years, churches have banded together to provide supplies and opened their doors to outsiders who came to assist by providing places for them to stay. When other communities have experienced disasters, supplies, money and workers are sent to the community in need.
- Church staff at all levels make sacrifices of time, energy and finances. Ever been in a bind and didn’t know who else to call? Ministers are on call 24/7. Part of their job description? It’s not in writing, but it’s an assumed part of his work. As inconvenient as it may be, most ministers are dedicated to caring for others. The imposition to help is part of his ministry and is done with the motive of serving, whether appreciated or not.
When things don’t go well and people disappoint, don’t forget that the one or more who offended don’t represent the entire church. When it looks like things can’t get any worse, they frequently do get worse, but God also provides resources through His people. People who are committed to serving Him by serving others. Make your investment in others who are committed to God, and you’ll get back in like manner. It’s what creates unity in the church so it can work in harmony under God’s direction.
When your church isn’t working in harmony, an outside objective resource can do a lot to help sort out the problem and guide the church to recover the unity God desires.
Call me, Ken Sneed, at 225-773-8883 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation by phone at no charge.