The life of any church is never hidden. If your church is loving each other in tremendous ways it has a way of getting out and flowing into the community. If your church is divided and fighting that, too, has a way of getting out to the community. It never ceases to amaze me when people ask me about specific things that happened at church. How do you know? Who told you? Let’s face it, we all want to be that church everyone wants to attend. We want our small group to have more. We want our church to be witnessing lives being transformed. We want to see the lost saved. Most churches I know are not seeing this happen.
The church is designed to draw people together under Jesus. What often happens is that church people divide up into factions and fight over things that do not matter in the bigger picture. Seating options, floor coverings, wall colors, stage options, music styles, preachers, versions of Scripture, and more become points of contention. In these battles, just like any war, people get hurt. In addition, the reputation of your church gets hurt.
How can your church have peace again? How can your church see the power of God again?
Arguments and fights will come to an end, if you chase away those who insult others. Proverbs 22:10
Before you start cleansing your rolls, take a minute and finish the article. The method you choose makes the difference. Running people off is not the answer. Which group is the right group, or wrong group? See what I mean? My family has several barn cats and a stray that showed up one day. The stray has a way of pushing the babies away from the food. This makes the mother cat angry. When I go out to feed the cats, I shoo away the cat who causes the trouble. I could have shot the cat, but did not. (We often do this in churches.) I could have driven the cat away permanently. (We misinterpret this verse in this way too often.) Instead, I still feed the cat, just later. Priority is given to those who are in the family. When the meaner cat decides to act right then he can eat at the same time.
If your church has people who are creating arguments, causing problems, casting doubt and darkness over people, then it will not take long for division and disruption to settle in. If your church is in the middle of these troubles, here are steps to bring about peace.
Find the Core
Every church has layers of people. The ones at the center are where you start. Look for people who are at everything and are spiritually developing. Bring those people together. Begin praying together for the unity of movement in the church.
Gorilla Glue Them With Love
Strengthen their relationship with each other like that mother cat and her babies. Create a bond that none wish to break because it is held together by love for each other. Lead them to take interest in each other. Have them spend time together. Once the bond is set by love, it is much harder to break.
Birds of a Feather
This group now has a lifestyle and bond that is attractive. Their love, joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit will become evident to others. There is an instinct God wired us with that wants to be in a group that loves and protects its own. Our culture teaches division, but God wired us for relation. What once was a minority (in number) will start to grow. Others will naturally want to be a part and take part in this type of community.
Sit Back and Watch
Now that this small group is growing in love, unity, and size watch what happens next. First, when that argumentative approaches one of the new group like they did before, they will be shooed away. Once we get a taste of real church family life we do not want to return like a dog to its vomit. The instigator will be stopped short and told what he/she is trying to do is unacceptable. The problem person will then have a choice to make. They can either join this group who truly wants redemption of this relationship or they can find someplace else to go. Either way, the group has pure motives and leaves the decision to the problem person. Second, the unified group will continue to grow. Soon the problem will become insignificant and out-numbered. It will either adjust to the new reality, remain quiet, or leave.
Not everything has to be a blow up, church split, or fist fights. There are ways to bring about peace through properly applied spiritual pressure. Instead of going head on into the other person, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Let God do the heavy lifting and enjoy the pleasures of peace, love, and Jesus.