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Healthy Church Tension

posted Dec 13, 2016, 9:58 AM by First Baptist


As I reflected on last Sunday’s business meeting, I saw evidence of healthy tension within our church family.

 

What do I mean by healthy tension?

 

Our tension (stress) was healthy in that we acknowledged a number of competing priorities for our church and honestly tried to grapple with them. For example:

 

§  The priority of caring for the members of the church versus reaching out to non-members.

§  The priority of ministering to the elderly versus ministering to the young.

§  The priority of maintaining a nice facility versus having it used by a lot of different groups.

§  The priority of supporting local missions versus national/overseas missions.

§  The priority of caring for the relatively poor (most American poor) versus the objectively poor (those in 3rd world countries).

§  The priority of putting resources to use immediately versus holding something in reserve.

 

Here are some ways in which the tension over competing priorities becomes UNhealthy:

 

§  When we insist on having our way instead of having our say.

§  When we’re not allowed to have our say.

§  When we question the motives or intentions of those who disagree with us.

§  When the church consistently ignores or neglects certain competing priorities.

§  When we fail to “get right” with each other following a disagreement. This may require a personal apology.

§  When we continue to oppose a decision of the church body that doesn’t go our way.

 

As we think about our competing priorities, churches sometimes make mistakes. One mistake is when the church rushes the decision. There’s typically no reason why an issue can’t be tabled for a week or so.

 

Another mistake is when the church makes a major decision with little or no prayer. It’s in prayer that we appeal to God for His wisdom & direction. And it’s in prayer that we remind ourselves that it’s His church. A church should do this both individually and corporately.

 

As always, we’re thankful for God’s grace. He is indeed compassionate toward His sheep.

 

Pastor Dan

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