Joe McKeever is a regular contributor to Pastor's Newsletter. His article about handling troublemakers in the church hits a cord with any of us who have been in ministry more than one month. (Maybe even less!) He writes this article with humor, frankness, and from a scriptural viewpoint that I think you will appreciate. -Ray
Posted by: Joe McKeever
There are two answers to this question: The best and shortest is to put mature leaders and sound structures in place to head off troublemakers. That is, stop trouble before it begins. And the other answer is everything that follows here…
In South Carolina, a pastor entered the worship service one Sunday morning and his jaw dropped. There sat a family that had belonged to every church in town, and had torn each one up. The only church they’d not joined was this one. And now they were here.
Sure enough, during the invitation they came forward and, because this was the way they did things in that church and no plans had ever been made for dealing with troublemakers, the pastor presented them to the congregation. The people dutifully voted to accept them into the membership. Then, the pastor called on an elderly deacon for the benediction.
The courageous old deacon prayed, “Lord, we have a wonderful church. We love our church. Now, Lord, this family standing before us today has torn up every church they’ve ever belonged to, and now they’ve come here. Lord, don’t let them hurt this church. Even if you have to strike them down. We can’t kill them but you can!”
At last report, the family was still behaving themselves.
In our opinion, the way to deal with troublemakers who float from church to church spreading havoc involves a combination of the following:
–First, this should be your constant prayer: “Lord, protect Your church. Please send only the people you want here; keep away any You don’t want here; and if there are some who need to leave, please remove them.”
–Be alert. Do not naively think because you are strong or your people are faithful that your church will be spared. The enemy will knock on your church door too. In fact, the more valuable you are to the Kingdom, the more the enemy will target you.
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