The last few days I have watched on posts in one Facebook group as individuals have attacked each other back and forth, relentlessly defending their understanding of scripture as the only correct possibility. In another Facebook group of leaders and ministers, also specific to my religious tribe the Churches of Christ, I have observed discussions about blocking other members so as to not listen to their erroneous statements. I have observed as friends have become more incensed with each other over blog articles and book reviews. I have even participated in a few of these discussions.Last night I wrote down some thoughts to write about where I believe my tribe, the Churches of Christ are headed. Spurred by a friend’s article about why ministers are leaving the church (which I think he nailed, by the way), I had thoughts of how we can work to correct this trend. What us as young leaders in the church could do to work with older leaders. A discussion of how we eat are own at an alarming rate. It might have been very helpful…it might have been useless. Maybe it will be written someday. I was very excited to dive into the issue this morning.
Then it happened.I logged onto Facebook and saw these words:
“I've been proud of (her) for more than 25 years now, but never more so than yesterday.”Curious I clicked to see what had occurred that brought out these words from someone I respect. And there it was, the words that hit me this morning:
“She was place in my care 6/7/13 and stole my heart instantly. She was nicknamed "sweet pea" by my parents and loved by so many people. She had ongoing medical needs and was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, and fatal heart condition 11/1/13 and was taken off life support on 11/5/13. I want to share the joy that she brought me the five months I was blessed to be her "mama".”My own memories of our Cadee and the church in Trenton, MI overwhelmed me. I could not even look at all the pictures or read all the posts on my friends wall, my emotions were so flooded.
Here was the answer.
Here was the God-story popping up again.
When will we learn to view everyone God has placed in our lives as people He has placed in our care? When will we learn that everyone, yes everyone, has ongoing needs? When will we understand what it means to live as brothers and sisters and consider it joy that God has brought us together?Yes, relationships hurt.
Yes, trusting means we will be let down.
Jesus died on the cross, not for you and me, but for the church!! Read Ephesians 5 if you don’t believe me.
Elders and leaders, can you shift the waves of pressure to ensure “safety” to lead your people into dangerous discipleship?
Young leaders, can you see the blessing of getting to work with people who may be dying in their dogma, but have no idea? You may be the one to breathe life into them.
What will it take church? When will we stop seeing people as objects to use or obstructions to our agenda and instead see people as people?
I plead with my tribe today, hear the words of Jesus, the words my friend posted yesterday as her daughter left this world:"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8