We love the church. We talk a lot about things that build churches. We develop software, programs, and techniques that help churches grow. We love seeing churches thrive. It’s what we live for, but we hate seeing them break up and fall apart.
Outside of Christ, few loved the church as much as the Apostle Paul. He wrote to the church in Corinth, “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.” (2 Cor 12:20)
No computer software can stop quarreling or conceit. No church growth principle can overcome jealousy or anger. No humorous look at church life can quell hostility, slander, or gossip. It doesn’t matter how well your office is organized if the people are in disorder.
Too many churches reek with the stench of offended Christians. Some people say the best defense is a good offense, but in reality most people just create a reason to be offended to defend their hearts from the truth that exposes them.
We will offend each other. We will let each other down. We will need forgiveness, and we will need to forgive.
We must create systems where…
- People confess their faults and find grace.
- People forgive as they are forgiven.
- People value authenticity more than authority.
- People protect each others’ reputations as much as their own.
- People spread the gospel, not gossip
- Prayers for each other are offered from a place of humility, not haughtiness.
If we do these, we do well. These will never go out of style.