a comment made on my "grace driven" post got me thinking - and opened my eyes to something i had felt, but could not put words too:
"I am a professional ministry person and I have noticed that across the board we (as professional ministry people) don't like each other very much. For that matter we don't trust each other very much. Its probably because as leaders we don't take grace seriously. Its too unpredictable. God can make lemons into lemonade and we want retribution."
man, did that open my eyes to so much - they brought up a very good point - and one BIG reason i am not excited about the current state of the church - pastors do not like each other.
i have seen it, felt it and, to be honest, must say that i have even been there - why? not sure, trust is one big reason - and that one runs deep in many directions. pastors do not trust each other because we think other pastors are going to "take" our people -
let's be honest with that one. i have heard other pastors say that they are unwilling to do joint services with certain pastors because they feel that the other pastor is a better speaker. they believe if their people hear the other pastor they will "go to his church" - you know you have not allowed certain local people speak in your church because they are better speakers. this is a "trust issue" but it also is a "self centered" issue - we want to be the center of our peoples universe. we say, "look at the cross, not me" but we act "look at me."
i am in process with this one, because i have felt it and i know i have acted this way - i am trying to find the words to express this lack of trust - to identify it, name it and then act upon solving it. i think this is one of the biggest reason the church is declining in growth - people feel our lack of trust and some how know it is wrong - so they stay away.
as pastors we need to get over this - because if not we will be adding our voices [even the silent ones] to the echos of past voices striving to kill the church