30 August, 2009
People Never Cease to Amaze Me
It's happening again. Last Sunday there were a few people who approached me after the worship service to tell me, they "felt led" to leave our church and start attending another. If someone truly feels that way, then I have no problem with it, so long as they just go. But it never happens that way. They can stand and look you in the eye and tell you that they have no problem with you or your church, but that God is leading them... but then they start trying to lead the sheep of your fold astray, to take them with them to the church that THEY felt led to go to. That's when they start to do what I call "circling the wagons." What's that? That is where you find as many people as you can to join your side. It's kind of like in the old cowboy and Indian movies where they covered wagons would make a circle to make their defense. The only difference is that in this scenario they go on the offense, trying to take as many with them into their circle, because everyone knows that the more you have in your circle, it proves you are in the right.
Somehow, I just don't believe God is ever in that. If God leads you, then go, and keep your tongue in check. When you start running your mouth and trying to take others with you then you have just crossed into the realm of sowing seeds of discord, and that, according to the Word of God is an abomination before the Lord.
You'd think that after all the years I've been in the ministry I would be used to it, but I don't think you ever get used to people and their betrayal. Yeah, it is betrayal. You pour into the lives of people for years, only to have them try to destroy your ministry as they go. I know it won't work. I've been through it enough times over the years that I know we will not only survive, but we will grow through this. What bothers me deeply is that every time this happens, innocent people are hurt deeply. Usually it is the ones whom they persuade to follow after them to their new destination. The church they leave is poisoned in their mind by those who bad mouthed the church and the pastor, so they can never go back. Or, they feel guilty for leaving, so they can never go back. And the sad truth is, those that left this church will eventually leave the next, and the next, and the next... leaving behind badly wounded sheep as a telling tale of their legacy, and these wounded sheep are often destroyed spiritually because of all of this. It makes me sick, and I am sure it sickens the Lord as well.
I will say it again. If God leads you to do something, then do it, but don't drag others into what God is telling you to do just to prove what a great thing you are doing. When you drag others around from place to place, you leave wounds in both them, the church you left and even in the church you are dragging them into.