Zev Porat

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


by Rev. Joda Collins

"Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace." Ephesians 4:3.
I have been involved in church-life for 42-years and counting. That is a very long time.  Church is designed to be place of harmony, unity and peace. However, those benefits are not automatic.  It takes "every effort" of almost every person.  There is little as sweet as being in unity with fellow church members. There is little so sour as being in a church with members at odds with one another. 
Some think it is impossible to have a sweet church.  It is not impossible if a few biblical principles are followed.  These are all biblical principles. I could enlarge this article twenty-fold by presenting the biblical basis for these points.  However, this is a short article.  I would be happy to expound on any point or points, if asked to do so. 
I put this in the second person for emphasis and not as an avenue of escape for "me" or "they."  We are all equally responsible. However, I want to speak to you, today.
1.  It is your responsibility to do everything you can to be at peace with everyone else in the church. 
2.  You are not the center of the universe or the church.
3.  If you cannot express your discontent without using the word "I" or "me," then you are probably the problem.
4.  If you cannot express your discontent without being tempted to say, "And there are a lot of other people who agree with me that I cannot name," then you are the problem.
5.  No one gets everything they want.  Live with it.
6.  There is no such thing as a perfect church; otherwise, you would not be tolerated.
7.  You may have to "take one for the team" if doing so helps your church.  If you don't know what that means, ask any church leader.  Be mature and take it.  Or, grow up immediately and take it.  Most adults can grow up in about 30 seconds, once they decide to do so.
8.  If you get your feelings hurt or have a concern, pray about it for six or seven hours (not in a row unless you have the knees for it) and if your feelings are still hurt or the concern lingers, humbly ask a respected church leader to speak with you about your feelings/concern. Begin by saying, "My feelings are hurt' or 'I have a concern about....  Would you help me through this?"
9.  Realize that you are not in charge.  The Senior Pastor is in charge.  "Submit yourselves to those who have rule over you...."  Hebrews 13:17.  Senior Pastors delegate responsibilities to others.  They act as ambassadors for the will of the Senior Pastor.  That team constitutes, "Those who have rule over you."   If  you don't like the way things are going, chances are God does not need your help to straighten out His Church.  If He does, He will ask you for it.  Show some restraint.  Have some patience.  Most things are in a state of change all the time.  Sooner or later what you are concerned about may be the way you like it and to the dislike of many others.  Who knows?
10.  If all else fails and the only contribution you can offer your church is constant internal church-unrest, unequivocal "me-centered" criticism and childish unending discontent -- you need to leave.  Leave quietly, graciously and without disruption to the church.  Force yourself to keep your mouth shut about your discontent for 90-days.  After that, it gets easier to do so.  There is nothing to gain by venting.  No one of any consequence to the situation wants to hear it, anyway.
 joda collins
Rev. Joda Collins
I make no claim that my views are shared by anyone else.


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