After sharing lunch with a few Pastors, who will remain nameless, I have come to the conclusion that Churches can be fairly brutal places. I hate to say it, but we Christians can be pretty awful to each other. Pastors can be awful to their church folk, and Church folk can treat their Pastor pretty shoddily as well. I know I am a Pastor, and therefore have my own perspective on this issue. This obviously colours my thinking. Let me also say that I thank God for my supportive and loving church. Its not always an easy job, and people in my Church are good to me. But my heart aches when I hear stories of how we let interpersonal conflict stall, delay or destroy what God wants to do through us.
What do non church people think when they stand back and watch us fight each other?
Seriously, God only gives most of us about 80 years. Dont waste it in trying to argue or fight your way through life. Instead pour that energy into mission, into reaching people who don’t know Jesus yet.
The following story is a sobering reminder of this.
“PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A church pastor called deputies to remove 16 congregants who refused to stop singing as he tried to begin his sermon, according to a sheriff’s report.
Pastor David Noel reported a disturbance at the Bethanie Seventh-day Adventist Church to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office when the group would not allow the Saturday morning service to continue.
All 16 church members were issued trespass warnings and left the property without incident, according to a sheriff’s report.
One congregant who received a warning said the group was protesting Noel’s leadership and alleged misuse of insurance money for damage to the church caused by Hurricane Charley.
“We received $364,000, but he told us we only got $264,000 because he wanted to give $100,000 to another church in Fort Myers,” Monique Robert said Monday. “But this money is for Bethanie. We want all the money for our church.”
Another congregant, Edourd A. Pierrelus, alleged that Noel struck his chest and twisted his left earlobe during an Oct. 1 meeting to elect new church board members.
“Many things are wrong in the church,” Pierrelus told deputies Saturday. “We don’t want him to be the pastor.”
Noel declined to comment to reporters Monday.
“I don’t have much to tell you, just that we are preaching the word here,” he said.
Milton Sterling, ministerial director for the Southeastern Conference governing the region’s Adventist congregations, said church officials were investigating the incidents.
Robert said she and the other 15 congregants who received warnings will attend a different church service this Saturday.”
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15.4,5