To a church that I once helped plant…
I have been blessed to help plant around 30 churches in my life. One of them is struggling
My heart is heavily burdened right now as I hear multiple reports of a very sad ongoing rant between members of a church who at a time of difficulty are taking opportunity to lash out at their leaders and one another. (This is NOT the Potters House Church that I presently lead by the way…)
Brothers and sisters please realize a few things. Your leaders have made more sacrifices for you than you could ever imagine. I know this all too well. As Paul illustrates in Scripture, there is no way you could ever repay the sacrifice that they have made on your behalf.
My strong word to you is this:
1. Be quiet. If you are angry or frustrated… now is not the time to speak.
2. Apologize. Be honest about your incorrect attitude and words of the past. Seek repentance as a way of life and seek to mend the relationships you have harmed. Your leaders have had to make hard decisions that were often a result of your sin and unwise choices.
3. Respect Leaders. You may disagree with them. Not a problem. But disagree respectfully. And realize that no matter what, the fact that they carry the weight of an office in the church means that God is their judge. And He judges more honestly and righteously than you could ever understand. Let his justice be enough. You obey God and follow their leadership with honorable respect. Hebrews 13:17.
Some leaders disqualify themselves from the freedom to lead by their sin, heresy and quickness to abandon their people. Don’t listen to those former leaders. They have proven unreliable at this point.
4. Let your fruit prove your faith. Some of you are claiming to be wise but are acting just the opposite. I’ve seen the words that you’re using to speak. These are not the words of Christ. If you want to be heard like a Christian, act like Christ.
5. Trust God. Do not live life as one with no hope. People without hope lash out at those who disagree with them. People without Hope are afraid of those who are different than them. People without hope live in despair. If you trust God then choose hope.
6. Be humble. There is nothing more embarrassing to the church than someone acting bigger than they are. Do not overstate the sacrifices you have made. Do not presume to be at the head of the table.
7. Forgive. You and I have lived a life worthy of damnation. If you are a true believer then your sin has been forgiven by the blood of Jesus. You and I have absolutely no choice but to live with forgiveness as our first response to being sinned against. So forgive even before someone asks you to…
8. Never let anger guide your choices. So you’re mad. Get over it. When you have a proper understanding of all that God has to be mad at you about… You will find less reason to be angry at anyone today. God’s wrath burns hot toward you but his grace has made a way for your salvation. So be graceful. “Angry” never looks good on the face of a Christ follower. It is just hypocrisy plain and simple.
In all things live a grace-filled loving life. I have spent many years caring for you. I’ve poured all that there is of me into you. I can’t stand the thought that you would miss all that God has done in your life. It would be difficult to bear.
If you are a true believer than show it by living out the fruit of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
I am praying for you today.