Where’s the Complaint Department in this Church?
Church, should be a place of refuge. It’s where we meet with God. It’s where we hear God speak. It’s where we join forces with people who are one with us. So why do people complain in church, about church, about other members, about the Pastor, about the music, about the volume, about bible class, about the building, about the color of the carpets, about the video screen, about the lack of a video screen, about, about, about…? As I see it, if our churches were perfect, we could not belong. And if we want a better Pastor, we should pray for the one that God has so graciously given to us.
I’m Looking at the Man in the Mirror!
We complain because we are sinners. We think that worship is greener at the other church. The problem is that this cycle never ends. It is endless because the problem is usually not the church or the Pastor. It’s usually the person in the mirror. It’s you and it’s me.
The Suggestion Box
A “Suggestion Box” is usually a bad idea. You will find that it can serve as an anonymous complaint box. The box can overflow with breakage of the eighth commandment. Rather, we need to be open, honest, helpful, respectful, kind, courteous; we need the gifts of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), not the fists of Satan.
The Answer Box
The answer is never division. It’s not quarreling among ourselves. It’s not finger pointing. The answer is never easy. The best answer is prayer. Prayer works because it’s you speaking to God and God responding. Responding in your thoughts, responding with events gloriously unfolding around you, responding through coincidences, responding with His will for you. The answer takes time. It takes patience. Time heals because God invented time.
Think Outside the Box!
So, you don’t need a suggestion box.
Don’t put God in a box either. He is bigger than you know.
Don’t put your Pastor in a box.
You don’t need a better Pastor. He has not been cookie-cutter stamped out like all the other Pastors that have preceded him. He is unique and fashioned by God to suit the needs of your congregation.
The Prayer Box
What you do need is a prayer box.
This prayer box is called your heart. That’s what the gifts of the Spirit are. Look again. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. All from the heart. I call these – “the peacemakers.” So no more complaining about your church or your Pastor!
We meet no ordinary people in our lives. – CS Lewis
I am a worship leader and I grew up in my church! Most worship leaders (musicians in today’s vernacular) do come from within the church. Unlike pastors, staff ministers and youth pastors, many worship leaders have attended their church for years, sometimes decades, before serving on the staff.
For me, this is good because:
1. I know my congregation and they know me. They are comfortable with me. They often volunteer to help sing or play an instrument with the band. They are the very people who have helped me to get to where I am in life. They have provided me with opportunity, strength, stability, friendship and endurance.
2. They know me from attending worship, bible class and fellowship events. They know my track record of faithfulness.
3. I know the history and personality of the church. I know it’s vision. I know the people. I know the culture. I know the community. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I know the church’s doctrines.
4. I know what musical styles the congregation is comfortable with.
God had a hand in placing me with these people and joining us into a friendship and fellowship of believers.
Four things a man must learn to do If he would make his life more true:
To think without confusion clearly,
To love his fellow-man sincerely,
To act from honest motives purely,
To trust in God and Heaven securely
– Henry Van Dyke
Summer Psalm for August 17 – Pentecost 10
Based on Psalm 119c
For the August 17 worship service, I am recommedning the same psalm setting developed for Pentecost 3. You can find the information here:
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:6
Summer Psalm for August 10, 2014 – Pentecost 9
Based on Psalm 18 (selected verses)
“I Love You Lord” by Laurie Klein (Song #107 in the “Best of the Best” songbooks)
Level of Difficulty:
The entire congregation can sing this song.
Rationale for the Song Choices:
The song is based on the opening verse of the Psalm.
Musicians softly play the verse or chorus in the background
M: I love you, O LORD, my strength.
C: The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
M: my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
C: He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
M: I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
C: and I am saved from my enemies.
Congregation Sings: Verse, Verse & Chorus
M: He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
C: He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
M: He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
C: You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
M: You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
C:You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
Congregation Sings: Verse, Verse & Chorus