In conversation with an old friend yesterday, he related some really weird church experiences. I was shocked again at the level of dysfunction and distortion of the Gospel that can exist in the body of Christ. Views and practices of church leaders vary so widely.
If you notice your church leadership (me?) say or do something wrong or bizarre that hurts the body, please tell them. Do it lovingly, prayerfully, graciously. But try to show them the error and the harm that you see.
Then listen. Likely, they will have some kind of explanation for you. Consider it for a while, and maybe reply later. It’s better to have conversations that are
- long-running and sporadic
- about ideas and practices
- with committed friends or church members
than to have arguments that are
- immediate, intense, and emotional
- about people (accusatory)
- with one or both sides half way out the door already.
Of course, some disagreements will be too big, and you just can’t stay. I’m just arguing for candid, in-the-clear discussions that resolve peacefully, with or without total agreement. I’m asking you to distinguish between personal opinions that don’t cause harm (let those slide), and things that happen that ARE harmful (start a conversation).
Most of us fight or flee when faced with difficult conflict situations, when constructive engagement is the need of the hour.