Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
It’s Sunday morning. Your pastor is giving a great sermon. The topic is the Church. Not the “little c” local body of believers church, but the “BIG C” centuries old and across Church born of a great move of the Holy Spirit at the festival of Pentecost just a few weeks after the resurrection of Jesus.
It’s great! He’s talking about the marketing approach by many churches today. You know how it is… they say things like:
- A New Church for a New Generation
- Church for People Who Don’t Like Church
- This is Not Your Grandmother’s Church
Then your pastor says, “Let me turn this around. How many of you have living grandmothers? Raise your hands.” People raise their hands. Then your pastor says, “If you have a living grandmother, please stand up.” People stand.
Then he asks a question that drives his point home, and you absolutely agree with him and you express your agreement verbally.
Is that a good thing?
I can prove to you that, sometimes, it isn’t a good thing.
Because what if your “amen” is expressed with a loud “yes!” or “Yeah!”
What if the question that your pastor asks that drives the point home for you, the question that resonates so well with you that you feel moved to loudly verbally express your agreement makes it sound like this:
Pastor: “Now, for those, of you standing, would you want to attend a church where your grandmother wasn’t welcome?”
Because this absolutely happened to me this morning. My exuberant amen-ish “yeah” was met with chuckles. The pastor continued to talk and was, in fact, responding, good naturedly, to the gaff when I realized what it sounded like I was saying.
I leaned over to my wife and said, “Wait… Not “yeah”, but…”
I looked in the row in front of me and I see the General Overseer of my denomination chuckling at my realization. I wasn’t embarrassed. I found it as funny as everyone else. But it did make me think of something.
We are, none of us, perfect. We will misspeak, make an oops, or have a “senior moment” whether we are, 18, 38, or 88. We will operate out of our brokenness and be imperfect in the process of growing in the perfection of our Heavenly Father.
In those EGR (Extra Grace Required) moments, it’s up to our brothers and sisters in Christ to laugh with us not at us, and be there for us. In the same way, we should laugh with them and not at them and be there for them when they stumble.
[callout]Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins. Welcome people into your home and don’t grumble about it. Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.
—1 Peter 4:8-10[/callout]
[reminder]So, have you ever, even if accidentally, disagreed with your pastor?[/reminder]