Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God's church business plan...

This, my friends, is how I believe a business meeting in the church ought to turn out. Everyone comes with ideas. They express them. They pray together. They hear from God and everyone goes home satisfied.

That’s what happened in Acts 15 when there was a disagreement about what should be required of the Gentiles who had believed. A few Jewish traditionalists insisted that the newcomers needed to act Jewishly and follow the law. They were in disagreement with Paul and Barnabas, so they took it up with the church. Everyone came with their own ideas. They expressed them. They prayed together. They heard from God and as far as we know everyone went home satisfied.

Why does everyone go home satisfied when business is conducted this way? Because God’s idea, the decision that is made, is better than any of the ideas any one believer came to the meeting with.

God’s smarter than any one of us! He’s wiser than all of us together.

I love what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

When we come to any business meeting we ought to hold our ideas, our agenda lightly. We likely have part of God’s plan in mind, but it’s possible we’re missing part of it too. Our brother’s or our sister’s input will probably be needed to make God’s will evident. We would do well to be patient and humble, waiting on God, bearing with one another in love.

God is in charge of your church. He is the vine. You are the branches. He is the head. You are members of the body. He is the king. You are his servants.

More churches than we’d like to admit run into problems at this point. In some of them, the pastor thinks he’s in charge and causes problems. One of my wife’s Kindergarten students a few years back saw her and told her mom, “My teacher is Mrs. Neifert. Her husband owns the church.” No! That’s not it! I am a servant of Jesus just like every pastor. Jesus owns the church which he bought with his blood.

In other churches, a person or a group of people act like they’re in charge. If they don’t get their way, pastors get fired or families are run out of the church. They say crazy stuff like, “My daddy built this church back in 1943. I’ve been in it all my life. I think I know what God wants for this church. If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.” If that doesn’t work, there are actually people who use their giving as a weapon. “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll withhold my tithes.” And they follow through. They rob God because he won’t lead his church the way they want him to. How dumb is that?

I hope none of you would do that. You want God’s will. You want to know his direction, so you’re going to and submit to his will and let him lead his church. Pray that God would help his church to hear his voice. He gives wisdom to those who ask. So ask! Ask in humility for yourself. Ask with confidence for your sister. Ask with power from God for your pastor. Ask in faith for all of God’s servants.

Let’s see what God can do when his people recognize his place in his church and choose to follow him.

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