How to Destroy Your Church: My Way
or the Highway
By Paula Marolewski
Destroying a church is easy, particularly if you are in a position
of leadership. Simply insist on “my way or the highway.” It’s
a very equestrian position: dig in your heels like a mule, and
get on your high-horse at the slightest provocation.
If you want to take this position, remember these simple principles:
- If anyone disagrees with me, they are de
facto in the wrong.
- My way is God’s way, so he is on my side.
- There are no grey matters, ever. Everything is black-and-white,
and I call the color scheme.
Now, in order to hold to this position, you will probably have
to ignore principles like grace, tolerance, kindness, gentleness,
and love. It is imperative that you remain true to your convictions,
no matter who gets hurt or what gets said.
Above all, don’t ever attempt to walk in someone else’s
shoes, understand their opinion, or consider their interpretation
of Scripture. That could very well upset the whole applecart, because
you might see that I Corinthians 12 talks about the importance
of every member of the body of Christ; that in Joshua 5, God says
clearly that it’s not so much about his being on our side
as about us being on his side; and that in Romans 14 Paul reminds
us that there are grey matters in life, and we are to be gentle
and tolerant with one another.
Now, if you would prefer to preserve the health and life of your
church, then I have one simple word for you: humility. In Philippians
2, Paul writes, “make my joy complete by being of the same
mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one
purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with
humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important
than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.”
Ironically, people with a “my way or the highway attitude” are
actually trying to attain exactly what the above verses call for:
one mind, unity of spirit, singleness of purpose. The problem is
that they assume that their mind is the one that everyone should
emulate, their spirit is the one everyone should follow, and their
purpose is the one everyone should embrace. And that, at its most
basic level, is pride.
Scripture is very clear about what pride precedes: destruction (Proverbs 16:18). And the church is not exempt from that warning.
Humility, on the other hand, seeks the mind of Christ instead
of self. It demonstrates love, regardless of differences. Discovers
unity within diversity. Establishes purpose that embraces everyone’s
unique contributions. Humility not only looks out for the interests
of others, but it honors others above self. No mule heels digging
into the rocky soil. No high-horses from which you can look down
your nose at others.
When we live in humility, dialogue about differences becomes the
fertile ground from which good fruit is grown. We discover anew
the wealth of God’s grace at work in the lives of others.
We rejoice at the Word of God, “living and active” in
each of our lives (Hebrews 4:12). And we affirm with every breath, “Not
my will, but Yours be done” (Matthew 26:39).
Article Source: http://www.sinkyourroots.com
About the Author:
Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible
studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School
classes at Sink Your Roots. Studies
include such topics as Debunking
the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The
site also offers free weekly Seedlings - “Little
thoughts that grow big results.”