Thursday, August 22, 2013

Church Viruses

Virusa small infecting agent that can replicate and spread throughout a living organism, affecting its health negatively. 

People get cold & flu viruses.  Computers get electronic viruses.  And churches get carnal viruses. 

Here are a few viruses infecting the Lord’s work….

1.  The people who come to church are the customers and the job of church leaders is to satisfy them.  Church leaders often fall prey to this kind of carnal interpretation of church life (and its mission), believing the sole mission is to satisfy pew dwellers.    Under this kind of pressure, weak pastors will soft-pedal any teachings, standards, or decisions that may upset any segment of the congregation.

The second virus is like the first…..

2.  The pastors are hired to make us happy, and if they don’t we'll get rid of them.  It is a rare congregation that can abide a minister who preaches the truth of God’s Word and makes decisive decisions in leading the church.  There is a deeply ingrained mentality in church-life today that if the church member is unhappy, then the pastor is not doing his job well. 

A TRUE STORY:  “Pastor,” the little committee said, “we thought you would want to know that some members are unhappy with you.”

The pastor, looking around at the six distinguished men and women standing in his office, said, “So?”

“Well,” the speaker said, “We thought that would matter to you.”

The shepherd said, “It does…. but not that much.”

“Then we are under a misconception here,” said the spokesman. “Our understanding is that since a pastor serves at the pleasure of the people, if they are unhappy with him, he is failing at his job. And thus, his continued employment is in jeopardy.”

The pastor said, “The only misconception is on your part. The job of a shepherd is not to focus on making the congregation happy. His job is to make you holy and spiritually healthy which makes the Heavenly Father happy. Those are two vastly different concepts.”

There is hardly ten church members in every 100 who understands this distinction.  And many churches are paying a high price in terms of pastoral turnover and congregational conflict.  It is a virus that makes a church sick.

The third virus infecting the church is…..

3.  The deacons handle the ‘business’ of the church while pastors take care of the ‘spiritual side’ of matters.  I’ve encountered this foolishness in several churches, and every case, the result has been disastrous!  There is not a single word in all Scripture – not one – which would substantiate this wrong-headed notion on how churches are to be run, managed, and led.  Acts 20:28 and I Timothy 3 make it abundantly clear who the overseers of the church are.

4.  I will give in the offering when I agree with the church, and withhold it when I don’t.  If someone is doing something sinful, unscriptural, or illegal, don’t fund it.  Don’t put as much as a buffalo nickel in it.  But if you are simply in disagreement with the leadership, get over it and bring your offerings anyway.  Act like a grownup, not a selfish child on the playground who wants to take his ball and go home because he didn’t get his way.

Few things speak about a person’s maturity than how they behave and continue serving after they did not get their way on something they wanted the church to do, but were told no by the leaders.  No one gets their way all the time, not even pastors.  It hurts, but we go forward, eyes on Jesus, and continue serving.  It’s what mature people do.

5.  I will come to church when I enjoy the morning speaker, but if someone is speaking that I don’t enjoy I will stay home that day.  This is the epitome of childishness, spiritual immaturity, self-centeredness, and downright disrespect.  If you are a follower of Christ, you should come to church no matter who is speaking that day (unless of course he is teaching false doctrine, etc).  Here’s why:

·      You should come out of reverence for the Word of God
·      You should come to honor your Lord

This is not about personalities, you know.  It’s about something much higher and nobler than that.  If you come to church only when you like the speaker of the day, then that means you are coming only to be entertained.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things (I Corinthians 13:11).

No comments: