you’ll never convince me that leading a small church is not a whole lot more interesting challenging annoying than leading a large church. ed young could never do what i do. following is an excerpt from an email i received recently:
The people that run this church need to get a clue on how to treat people.
i wish i could tell you, loving reader, that this type of thing is a rare aberration, but i get them with irritating regularly. usually when i think things are going well. and i wish i could tell you that my first impulse is to rejoice, but it’s not. i confess that my initial reaction is not very spiritual.
in paul’s letter to his young protégé, timothy, i find specific instruction on how i am to respond to these types of distractions:
Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. (2 timothy 2:23-24)
as i continue to grow in the lord, the most obvious adjustment he is trying to make in me is the development of patience. as a church leader, i am clearly not allowed to indulge in retribution. i’ve got to find a way to model kindness and self-control. the type of thing i’m talking about goes way beyond “turn the other cheek,” or “heaping burning coals.” god is calling me (very clearly, i might add) to possess and display a calm spirit. when my mind wants to put the rabble-rouser in their place or withhold my friendship, my heart is compelled to reach out in love and be a “gentle listener.”
wait a minute…i am not suggesting that i have accomplished my mission. i’m just telling you what the lord has been speaking to me. to me, the purest sign on a man of god is one who chooses to serve “those who refuse to obey.”
here’s my question: does that rule apply to my wife, too?