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There is a special connection that can be formed when you go to a small country Church. It is this special connection that always causes me to attend those Churches long before I attend large ones. The members become family. It’s this second family that I love the most. In most cases this second family actually knows more about what is going on in my personal life then my birth family. Sadly, this is sometimes leaves us open to be hurt and wounded by the Church.
We had such a situation in our own personal lives. In fact, it seem to be happening to all the members of the Church at the same time. It was a dramatic situation and even more so it was a heart wrenching moment in our lives that still causes great pain. Not only did it separate our Church family it also caused a huge rift in my extended family. It is something we simply do not talk about. It also means that when we were seeking a new home church it caused both my husband and I to have a lot of reservations with every single church we went to. Sure we went to a lot of great churches in our area however we were scared to commit to any of them because we just did not want to put our little family through the pain again.
The fact is that there are no perfect churches because we are not perfect people. We are all simply sinners saved by grace. Now this does not mean that we are to simply to continue to allow ourselves to get hurt. What it does mean is that when there is conflict within the church (or in any other relationship for that matter) we need to follow certain guidelines.
Guidelines To Handling Conflict Within The Church:
- Check your attitude out first before reacting: There are so many times that we can over react due to emotions. We need to seek out our own hearts before we address situations that are going on around us that may cause a conflict. Are we addressing the issue at hand because it is a Biblical issue or is it because our emotions are running on high.
- Pray over the conflict: So many times praying before reacting can really put us into check. It allows God to guide us and direct us. It also allows us to again check our own hearts before approaching the matter. Even more times than not we find that the problem isn’t with the Church at all but within our own hearts. When that happens oh what a humbling experience that is when it turns out to be an internal issue.
- Speak directly with the person not the congregation: Ouch that hurts. When we go to outside sources we cause harm. It doesn’t matter if we mean for it to or not. The fact of the matter is if we speak to another member who is not involve we cause discord. When we talk with someone outside the Church we begin to tarnish the Church’s name to the public. Instead take it to the source directly!! (Mmmm maybe we should apply this to all relationships) Matthew 18:15
- If speaking directly doesn’t help then seek a third party to help: Now this does not mean pull in your best friend who agrees with everything you say. Instead most Church’s have a deacon. Here is where you can pull him in to help or if the problem is with the deacon then pull in another deacon. Strength in numbers can be a great thing. Matthew 18:16
Sometime, even these steps do not resolve the conflicts. Been there and felt that pain. However this is when we really need to decide if this is the place of worship that we really need to be attending or is it time for us to move our membership somewhere else. Now, this is not ideal but sometimes we simply must. In those cases it is not our place to cause a huge scene when we leave. Instead we need to peacefully seek another option for our family. This should be done after much thought, heart searching and prayer. It also does not mean that there is something wrong with your current Church because that truly is not for us to decide instead it means that your family’s needs have changed.
Please note that no where did I say that this is an easy thing to go through. Almost always it is heartbreaking. I would be lying to you if I did not tell you that. However sometime it is simple a must. As Christians we must stand firm in our beliefs and we must be willing to admit that sometimes as sinners we are not always going to meet eye to eye.
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring For Him,