If you had three wishes from the Magic Genie...well let's say just one big one...and you could change one person in your congregation, who would it be? Would it be the preacher? One elder? Two? A song leader? An old bitty whose pointy finger delightfully wags in your face? You have one moment of magic to spend. Who would you change for the good of the church?
I have good news for you. You have that power. I have bad news for you. There isn't anyone to be on your list higher than you.
Ah, say it ain't so!
Ah, it is.
Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:1-4)
God sees something flawed about each of us that we don't. Others do. It is clear to all. But never to self. We just can't see it.
When we complain we are guilty of that which we complain...in some form. How many of the shepherds believe their problem is the preacher? How many preachers believe it is an elder? How many members believe it is both?
We just don't get it. No one in our circle misses the mark of the principles of God like self does. Period.
Congregations will begin to shift for the healthier once the blame-game closes its casino. The world keeps driving by us and they don't care about our miffs and beefs. And we.....we have majored in minors for so long we have renamed minors as majors. No to be.
I know. I lived as the preacher for years believing it was others who needed to make severe adjustment. While I may have been on target that some needed to change, I was clueless as to my own frailty as well as failing grades. No one needed to grow up as badly as me. No one.
I now believe a secret to Paul's effectiveness was he continually worked from the premise that he was the chiefest of sinners. Paul never met me. I'm a chiefer sinner than Paul. From this base we have the gratitude of goodness and the thrill of glory for we see ourselves as nothing. This truth forces us to look for Him to be all. And....He surely is.
If you are set on believing life would be better when another improves, you are beside me in just beginning the maturity in Christ process. Welcome to the surprising world of change that needs to take place in the church...and no greater location is mandatory than the blind region of self.