Thought of the Week:

            The one place we expect to find people united around a common goal and mission. Remaining focused no matter what difference of opinions arise. Is often the place where we find a great deal of disunity and some of the greatest hurt people can cause one another; the church in America.

            This post is not about a certain congregation or denomination. Within the majority of churches, especially this time of year the congregations tend to be split between Republicans and Democrats. In other congregations we see lines being drawn because of church decorations or worship styles. Still in other congregation we see the church divided between choosing to follow the pastor or following the board. Let’s be honest over the life of the church in America there have been several church splits over some pretty stupid and petty stuff.  We all have our revolving doors; granted some of them revolve at a faster pace than others.

            We live in a consumeristic society that has become highly mobile.  This has caused many churches to become consumer focused.  Leading the people in the pews to think that they are at Burger King instead of in the house of the Lord. We want it our way, instead being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, especially when it makes us uncomfortable. This type of thinking not only can lead to disunity in the body it can cause us to constantly be looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. However, when we constantly church hop we find quickly that every church has its problems and does not always function the way we want it to. Instead of a change of venue we need a change of heart. We need to be united with the body in the Spirit. We need to ask ourselves if we are focused on the mission of God or on our own mission.

            So if this is a problem in many of our congregations how do we stay united, when threatened with disunity. To use a phrase from my buddy Scott Moore’s sermon we stay focused on the mission no matter what different thoughts or opinions present themselves.

            To accomplish this we need to take serious Ephesians 4:1-3.  In this passage we see Paul saying that he is a prisoner of Christ.  Granted Paul was a literal prisoner at this time for preaching the Gospel, but I think there is so much more here for us.  Paul is a prisoner of Christ. He has surrender his will completely to God. He is willing to follow God no matter what personal sacrifice or discomfort he must endure. Further we see that we need to be humble, gentle, patient and bear with one another in love. We need to love others both in and outside of our walls as Jesus does. We need to have God’s agenda as our main focus not or own agenda’s. We must be willing to be molded by the Spirit instead of the other way around.

            So in closing the question is not when you will disagree with someone in your congregation or a decision the pastor and the board makes. The question is will you cut and run or will you maintain focuses on the mission of God that none will be lost. Instead of quarreling and spreading rumors will you ask how you can follow the example of Christ and wash the feet of those in greatest need in your community?

Pastor Travis






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