Tony’s Aunt Barb is a strong Packer’s fan, a Cheese Head. If someone were to strongly put down her Packer’s in favor of any other team, the seven plagues of Egypt would descend upon them. She thinks everyone should love the Packers. Some people feel the same about their churches.
The Enemy doesn’t have to try too hard to create divides in a church. Utilize human nature and we can create our own diversions like hymn music verses contemporary, organ verses drums, coffee shop verses keeping it pristine, he said, she said, etc. It’s like perpetual motion. Whatever gets put into place just needs a nudge and suddenly we’ve got the very competition that divides. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has their team.
This occurred to me when our pastor spoke about how one church’s dissension began with a believer getting upset because someone at dinner had a ham piece bigger than his. The sermon spoke about how Abraham Lincoln was made to wait, never gaining an audience with one of his slacking generals. His aides were furious, but when they complained to Lincoln they were humbled by his response. If it got the job done, Lincoln said he would even hold the general’s horse for him.
If it gets the job done, I’ll hold the horse. I’ll sweep the stalls. I’ll feed the horse. I’m not going to try to recruit people from other churches to my church because I believe it’s biblical and the best church home I have ever experienced. I may not always agree in the “how” a church operates, but I will never attempt to convince my friends or those on my Praise and Coffee that my church is the best. Their church may also be just as powerful as mine.
Worship is not a football team where we compete against each other, tackling each other to the ground, and causing injury where one team member is benched for the rest of the season. We’re one arm in a larger body of Christ meant to work on the same team against a culture that seduces by its easy beliefs and narcissistic values. We’re to pray for other churches, our pastors, our leaders, and our congregation, friends, and family. We’re to join our arm with another arm in prayer to help spread the Good News and to bring comfort and love to the lost; to pray for our nation. My Aunt Barb would agree.
Just don’t put down her Packers!
Do you ever recruit? Do you treat another church as part of a team or as competition?