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Archives, En(courage)ment for hard times, my thoughts on effective ministry

it is easy, in churches today, to get offended

It is easy, in churches today, to get offended about anything. A cinch. It is harder to protect the unity of a group of people working toward a common goal.

It is also easy to get lost in groupthink, to assume that we must drink the kool-aid in order to really be part of things, and forsake our own identity and calling. Assuming there is kool-aid at church. It sometimes seems like there is…

These are both extremes. But you can find them everywhere in churches, hidden just under the surface of conversations and actions and reactions. Unity is fragile. And powerful.

God is not out to get us. He is immeasurably good. He is hoping we will see that the groups of people we are part of are for seasons, with different strengths, and of course, weaknesses. The focus is Him. We have the power to choose this focus. We are able to guard our relationship to Him and our hearts, in order to freely cooperate with others, without giving them so much power to derail us.

Also, He is not interested in robots. He made you. As you are. Loves you. Gave you odd talents and amazing abilities. Made you cool or creative or weird or zany or practical. Wants you free. But made you to function at maximum capacity in an environment of interrelated synergy with others.

It’s true. Not easy. But worth your attention. Offense is not a tool of the Holy Spirit. Or criticism. But unity is. And love. Gosh this is hard. Most of the time we deal with our disappointment by holding grudges, talking about people behind their backs, becoming bitter or passive aggressive, or going awol. But there is a better way. Unity. Peace. Honesty. Love. Moving on when there is peace in our hearts and leaving the right way, with a good taste in our mouths. Being confident of His voice and timing and heart and way. Fulfilling our commitment. Choosing to see correctly.

So be yourself. Even if it’s messy. Don’t stay offended. Let it go. Understand that He will lead you to the right relationships, and they don’t have to be forced. You don’t need to worry. We worry too much. Just be there. Seek Him first. Guard the unity at your church, so that hurting people can be reached. Don’t forsake who you are. You might be surprised to find that we are all in the same boat. You might be astonished to be seen at your worst and still loved and valued. And when it’s the right time, the season will change and you will move forward, having the lovely tools of this particular season in your arsenal, stronger and more mature.

“There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfill His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.” -Oswald Chambers

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