5 Ways To Love On Your Hurting Church

If you dread going to your church because there are a ton of issues there, please consider a few things before blowing up or walking away.

1) Pray for your pastor. 
He most likely knows all the issues at hand and he’s just as desperate to fix them.  You might be angry about some stuff: but he’s probably losing sleep and having those midnight arguments in his head and losing.  Have grace for your pastor.  Ask him how you can help.

2) Be part of the solution, not the problem. 
We do need criticism, but at some point we need constructive restoration.  It’s easy to see what’s wrong from a distance; anyone can do that.  It’s hard to roll up your sleeves and get into the mess to help change things.  Find the weak areas and bring strength.  Go to what’s dead and bring life.  Don’t keep speaking death over death. And do NOT keep doing the most popular stuff in your church, like the praise team.  Help with the stuff that no one wants to do.

3) Be passionate even if no one else is. 
Sing loud and pray hard and move your body.  Who cares who’s looking?  Really, who cares?  In the grand scheme of your 77 year life, it makes no sense to hold back your passion because an eye that weighs two ounces was looking at you.

4) Don’t be mad at mockers. 
There will always be people who don’t take things very seriously: but it doesn’t help if you get mad at them.  It doesn’t help to turn up a nose or get all horrified-gasp-uppity about it. Then you’re taking yourself too seriously.  Show grace there.  Have fun anyway.  They’ll join in soon enough.

5) Communicate, don’t gossip. 
You’ll be tempted to speak bad about your church to your church.  Please cut that out, immediately.  You don’t know what you’re doing to the body of Christ when you so quickly rip it apart with snarky divisive comments.  It’s self-mutilation.  It’s dropping poison down the well.  You’ll become the voice that everyone has to overcome. 

Bring your concerns to your pastors and leaders with a vision to move forward.  Don’t look back.  There’s enough blame going around in the world. If the church is a hospital, I hope we could quit fighting over our egos and instead get it together for the dying.  Soldiers on the battlefield only look to each other for help; they look forward for the mission, side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder.  And such is Jesus’s hope for the church.

— J.S.

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