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Struggles in the Church

by on June 5, 2016

Healing for Struggles in the Church

Some questions arise about difficult church situations. Many congregations go through times of difficulty. Problems not addressed tend to escalate. People tend to polarize – taking sides in the struggle. Lack of Truth, unkind words, and lack of Biblical direction all take a toll on the flock. What can be done? Here are some questions and comments that I have found useful to get to the heart of the struggle.

1. What is the general emotional and spiritual health of the persons in leadership?
Emotional and Spiritual health are imperative if healing is to be found.
Strong, healthy leaders are needed to give direction to the flock.
They must be men who are committed to the wisdom of mercy and Truth.

2. Are the leaders men who are wounded, or men who are broken before God?
We are all wounded but some of us have been healed.
Men who are wounded and healed are broken before God.
Men who are not healed are defensive and proud and driven.
Saul was a wounded man. David was a broken man.
Wounded men throw spears. Broken men do not throw spears.

3. What is the emotional and spiritual health of the women who are involved?
Are the women submissive or are they controlling?
Controlling women will quietly destroy families and the church.
Passive fathers and husbands produce controlling women.
Men with controlling wives are quietly angry and will try to control decisions.
Controlling women can produce passive sons who repeat this process.

4. Passive (wounded) fathers and controlling (wounded) mothers can produce angry (wounded) children.
Many young people are angry at their parents.
They are angry at their mothers for being controlling and domineering.
They are angry at their fathers for allowing the mother’s behaviors.
The anger shows itself in many different ways – Violence (usually vicarious), immorality, passive resistance, confusion, and depression.

5. Wounded men are afraid of broken/healed men.
Wounded men use threats and intimidation to control situations.
Broken/Healed men are not afraid of threats and intimidation.
Broken/Healed men are not controllable by threats.
Broken/Healed men are not afraid of death
Because broken/healed men are already “dead.”
Broken/Healed men pity wounded men
Because they remember when they themselves were wounded and not healed.

6. Are the lessons/sermons Scripture or are they human ideas?
Scripture is not a “jumping-off-point” to push our agenda.
Scripture is the Word of God.
Scripture truth must be studied and presented.
Scripture will change lives as it is taught.
Leaders are to feed the flock with the Word of God.

7. Are the Spiritual gifts being used by the church?
God has placed those gifts in the congregation.
The Church needs to recognize and develop the gifts God has given.
Church politics controls who gets to speak and make decisions.
Politics and truth can not exist together.

8. Are the people experiencing genuine worship?
We must worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
The Father seeks such to worship Him.
Worship must be the primary life of the Church.

9. Are the people being shepherded?
Are their needs being met?
Are the leaders speaking into their lives?
Are the people shepherding each other as they should be?
Shepherds must lead, guide and set the example for the flock.
Teaching and shepherding are the critical ministries

10. Is there wise oversight to which the leaders are responsible?
Everyone needs to answer to someone.
Leaders need mentors to help them grow and develop as leaders.
Leaders need to be open to evaluation and direction.
Leaders need Godly men around them.
Leaders need to be accountable to a council of Biblical elders.
Healing can occur if leaders follow a Biblical approach.

Much more could be said. These are just some questions and comments that may help to determine underlying causes of stresses in a congregation. Many times if underlying issues can be constructively addressed, the problems can be understood and corrected and peace restored.

Most church struggles are not necessary. They are the product of wounded, unbroken, unhealed men and women. They can only be prevented by strong, Godly, broken, healed men who are dead to self and alive to the Holy Spirit of God.

Apostle Paul’s counsel rings through time:

For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Take heed to yourselves
And to all the flock,
Among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,
To shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

For I know this, that after my departure
Savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also from among yourselves men will rise up,
Speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Therefore watch, and remember that for three years
I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace,
Which is able to build you up
And give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Acts 20:27-32

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