All church members, no matter how spiritual the member and how great the church they attend is, will have sincere concerns and issues that will arise from time to time. There are Biblical ways to address those concerns, and many Godly and sincere folks in our churches regularly handle those issues in a Christ like way. Please know that this is not what I am referring to in this article.
What I AM addressing here is another concrete fact – In most of our churches that are stagnant, struggling, and near death, you will almost always find negative attitudes and poisonous thoughts that have caused the church to end up in the difficult situation they are in.
Those attitudes and thoughts will almost never be voiced in an honest, upfront, and open manner by those who hold them.
Therefore, in my continuing efforts to help the process of growth and revitalization in our churches, I provide for you here a service that I call “The Church Trouble Maker translator”.
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKER SAYS: “Pastor, folks have been talking, and we think you ought to know what they are saying……..”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: “Pastor, my wife and I have been talking about some things we are upset about, and she won’t get off my back until I bring them up to you.”
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKER SAYS: “Our Church isn’t growing because we are living in the last days, and folks just don’t want to hear the truth.”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: “Our Church isn’t growing and it’s probably because of something we need to change, but we’re too lazy and apathetic to do anything about it, so it’s easier to blame it on the lost.”
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKERS SAYS: “I really don’t want to see our church get much bigger than it is, I’m afraid it will get too cold and impersonal.”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: I really don’t want to see our church get much bigger because I’m afraid I won’t be able to nose around in everybody’s business.”
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKER SAYS: “Our pastor used to really feed me spiritually, but now when he preaches it seems he just gets up and harps on a few specific sins.”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: “I didn’t mind when the pastor was preaching on sin, until he got to the ones that I was committing. Now he’s meddling!”
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKERS SAYS: “I think our church is growing too fast. I just feel that growth needs to be very slow and steady.”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: “If all of these new people join the church and become active, they will soon outnumber the little “clique” that has run this church for years, and that is a threat to our power we will not stand for.”
WHEN THE CHURCH TROUBLE MAKERS SAYS: “Let’s quit spending so much of our time and resources on reaching those outside the church, and start focusing more on taking care of the folks we have now.”
WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS: “Yes, there are people all around this church that are dying and going to hell, but I really could care less about them. My comfort and care is more important than people who don’t look, act, and dress like me. Every dollar wasted on ‘them’ is one less dollar to take care of me, and, after all, it really IS all about me.”