We Are Family
We call each other brother and sister. In doing so we remind ourselves of this central truth; we are sons and daughters who share the same father and mother. We are family. However, whether a church is a home missions church or is an established work, there is a great danger lurking which can destroy faith, disrupt thriving ministries, and turn a functioning family into a dysfunctional one. This danger is always at the door, insidious and subtle like a serpent ready to weave it’s way into a crack. This element of danger is gossip and slander.
In his book Seventy, Everyone Needs a Team, Dr. Eugene Wilson says, “Behavior is the outward manifestation of a person’s core values.” (p. 93). What are your core values? As Apostolic Pentecostals most of use would quickly give the right answers about our core values. We believe in one God, holiness, and the Acts 2:38 message. However, it our behavior that is the best representation of our true core values. Slander is a behavior that reveals something about our true core. The Bible says in Proverbs 26:23, “Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a
potsherd covered with silver dross.” It is possible for a time to cover our core with a beautiful aesthetic. It may be presented as righteous concern or magnanimous truth sharing, but beneath the veneer slander reveals a core value. No veneer of paint can long cover rotting wood beneath. When slander is present, whether it is against spiritual authority or against brothers and sisters, church families undermine
fall into dysfunction.
Dysfunction is always tied to disorder. The Bible is clear that we are one body. You cannot be healthy if the head is fighting the heart, arms, or legs for supremacy. There is only one head in the body and the head is first in order. We need every part of the body of Christ. Diversity has its place in the body. Thank God not everyone attempts to sing. We do not need everyone to be a preacher, or everyone to be a musician or everyone to be a pastor. We absolutely need order and unity within the body.
If your team or organization is experiencing tension, it is not only a core issue, but a fuel issue. Proverbs 26:20 says, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” We must not only address underlying values, but eliminate the behavior that is fueling and reinforcing strife.
Church leaders cannot neglect the fundamental and necessary emphasis to maintain unity. While we would like everyone to absorb and retain core biblical values, people are forgetful. We all need reminders of what our value must be. This means not only teaching it to those we lead, but modeling it. Just as it is dysfunctional for one parent to undermine the other in front of their children, it is not right for leadership to slander other leadership or lay ministers. What we model will be repeated in excess. We are a family. At some point in the future, it is almost certain we will face spiritual battles in which we will depend on our spiritual family
be fight by our side to help us through. God created the church family to function in unity. We must to be vigilant against the poison of gossip on any level, done corporately. We have a mandate to multiply. We don’t know the day or the hour when the King will return, but we must do all we can to multiply what our King has entrusted to us before time runs out
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