Have you ever been there?
You see, the church consists of a body of human beings, to expect this body to be flawless is not logical. Yet many of us have been there- those situations in church that we truly didn’t enjoy. No matter if it is because we disagree on the decisions being made, or we feel that people are not treated properly.
Now I’m not talking about the color of the carpet or pews or the committee taking care of the tea tables is “just not getting it right.” These are not church problems. Well, they are, but of a superficial sort. I mean heart decisions. Decisions that make a difference in the everyday lives of folks. Church issues that just don’t belong “in church.”
The real problem is not with the church; there’s no doubt the church will make mistakes. Simply because it is a group of people.
And humans make mistakes.
The most frustrating part of the church making mistakes is not knowing what to do about it.
Do we leave? or do we stick it out and hope for a change?
Do we stay no matter what?
I believe the Bible really guides us with answers to these questions through the principles we find in it. While many more aspects exist to this broad topic, today the discussion is knowing what to do when the church fails you.
1. Take heart in what Jesus said about his church.
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18
No matter the issue of hurt, harm or anguish, Jesus is the head of the church and this will never change.
2. Stay in God’s Word and continually pursue your direct relationship with the heavenly Father.
“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
God’s Word is always successful. People within churches will fail. Leaders and teachers make mistakes. Friends say things that they later wish they hadn’t. But God’s Word is reliable and true.
3. Listen to the Holy Spirit living inside of you as a Christian.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
The Holy Spirit of the Living God speaks to us and for us. When we are living in close relationship with God, the close proximity of our heart to His allows us the privilege of hearing as He speaks to us with peace in our decision-making processes. If you are walking with God and do not feel peace about a situation, our God is not the author of confusion. (I Cor. 14:33) There is a reason the Holy Spirit is not giving you peace and this should guide your decisions in church situations.
No matter the story or problem or disagreement, the Bible is clear that as Christians we are to be an active part of the church. The one God has for you will clearly be revealed to you when the above three principles are followed.
How have you handled it when the church failed you?