I’m toying around with starting a blog series that speaks from the pastor wife perspective in life. Not sure if I even want do it but hey. How does the saying go? Nothing ventured, nothing gained (or loss!) Welp! Here we go!
A friend and I was having a candid conversation (via text of course) about church family the other day. Church family is defined as those who you attend church with, those who serve alongside you in ministry. The people you engage in relationship with during Bible Study, Life Group, missions trip. You know the ones who nearly take your eye out during praise and worship with their arms raised high. The ones you give the side eye to when they are in “your seat” at church. You get the point.
As a pastor’s wife it’s kinda an unsaid rule that whatever bad things happens in your church is either your husband’s fault or more than likely your fault. Pastor wives get a bit of bad press. But that’s for another time and book.
So our conversation explored how the sometimes tenuous relationships that can exist among church folks and how a simple misunderstanding can send the whole church train off track. I’ve been 15 years in this pastor wife life, 32 in this church folks life, with about twenty plus years of “I stopped playing with Jesus” life. The natural observer in me has learned a few things along the way when it comes to church folks and relationships.
Not Everyone Is Going To Like You
I’m still looking for the verse that states that you must “like” your brother or sister in the Lord. When you find it, please holla at ya girl. People are human beings. They fail in this simplest of actions. What you wore last Sunday can send the sister behind you into a tizzy. Just because! Your random post on social media has somebody, somewhere stewing in their grits. Yet we are called to love. And love supersedes all the foolery that comes with breaking the ice and setting things straight. “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20.
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.
It’s not everything that calls for a meeting with the pastor or the elders. Let people figure things out for them self. If you’re in a church where the shepherd of the house teaches the Word of God with fidelity, then the expectation is that the RETURN ON INVESTMENT will trump temporary stupidity. Sometimes people have to be broken in order for them to be repaired. I call them “sandpaper people.” They are the ones who stay rubbing you the wrong way and you just can’t quite get past how their perfume sets your teeth on edge. I know. I’m being petty with my analogy. But years of sitting in on mediation with church members has proven that some things in life shouldn’t take up that many brain wave activity. God left the Israelites in the desert to wander for a “few years” until they could figure things out. I’m sure He didn’t want to. But sometimes people have to be allowed to experience life for themself. Just be ready to receive our sand paper sister and brother when they are ready to make things right with God.
There’s no other example of leadership and the pits and falls of relationship building than that of Christ and his disciples. How would you like to know years ahead that there was a backstabbing infidel in your midst?Judas. Or that walking alongside you was a dual-minded man who talked out both sides of his mouth. Peter. Or that all the “yes men” in your corner would eventually be “nah men” and take flight. Or that your team just couldn’t quite grasp the big picture of ministry. I’m sure Jesus’ meetings had more tension and drama than a church members meeting any day! Whose gonna sit next to you in Heaven Jesus! Aren’t I your favorite Jesus? Whine. Whine. Whine.
Jesus knows. He always knew best.
So let’s all take several seats and read 1 Corinthians 12 for the hundredth time already! Sat down somewhere (as the country folks would say) and do some soul searching. Do you bring kerosene to an already burning situation or foam to put the fire out? Are you so busy trying to find all that’s wrong with your church rather than being solution-oriented? New members are you out to eradicate church history and hard-earned DNA? Old members are you too set in your Stone Age ways to embrace change?
The Body of Christ has the opportunity of an eternity to demonstrate to a world that’s bleeding out–there is hope in Him! There’s restoration in Him! There’s all the answers in Him!
Let’s widen our lenses a little beyond the speck in each other’s eye and get to the business of guiding souls to Christ.