Check out Ep 003 – Don’t Beat the Sheep
Then check out Ep 004 – Don’t Bite the Shepherd
In Ep003 of the Angry Christian Podcast we explored the dangers of pastors and church leaders beating the sheep. You can catch that episode through the link above (if you haven’t already listened to it), and you can also check out the article we posted along side of this podcast HERE.
In our next episode, Ep004, we are going to explore the relationship of Church folks back to the pastor and church leaders in what we are titling, “Don’t Bite the Shepherd”.
You see, this whole Church thing is a 2 sided coin.
On one side you have the pastors and church leaders (the shepherds), and on the other you have the church body (the sheep). For decades (if not centuries) there has always been a tension between these 2 sides of the coin, which results in church splits, hurt relationships, broken testimonies, people being turned away from and turned off of the church, and a whole lot more.
Each side of the coin seems to think they ARE the coin not realizing that they are but one side of the same coin….that there is another side.
One side is danger of beating the sheep (especially when they become stiff necked and difficult to deal with), while the other side is in danger of biting the shepherd (especially when they become offended or angry with the church leaders).
Both sides struggle with relating appropriately to one another and maintaining a healthy relationship.
While pastors and church leaders can certainly fall into the trap of beating the sheep, the sheep have to be careful that they are not becoming stiff necked and difficult and creating a lot of frustration for the church leaders as they try to appropriately lead and equip the church body to do the work of the ministry.
Paul puts it this way in Hebrews 13:17 NLT:
Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.Hebrews 13:17 NLT
I know that often times this passage can be used as a cudgel by church leaders who tend toward the abusive side, but this reveals a great deal about how much of a struggle it is for church leaders to adequately and joyfully lead a church body that is constantly biting them.
I have served in ministry and as a church leader in various churches across several denominations and in two separate states, and I can tell you story after story that would make your head spin about how I and other pastors and church leaders were treated at the hands of the sheep.
It’s sad really.
Most church leaders and pastors have the best of intentions and desires for the church body in mind, but are often treated as though they are the greatest threat and enemy to the church body. Usually because these church leaders represent some sort of change that the church body doesn’t want to undergo.
This ought not to be so.
When we understand that we are all working on the same team, toward the same goal, under the same God…we work in unity with one another…and, according to Ephesians 4, we no longer act like spoiled immature children (v14).
What will this look like according to Ephesians 4?
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
To summarize…the church body (as a whole), when everything is functioning as it should, and relationships are working as they should, and church leaders are functioning in the role God designed for them…the church will…
- Speak truth in love
- Grow in EVERY way more like Christ
- Fit together perfectly
- Help each other
- Become healthy
- Experience growth
- Become full of love
Seeing this, and knowing this, I have to ask…
Which church body would you rather be part of?
The one where the shepherds beat the sheep and the sheep bite the shepherd?
Or the one where folks actually get along and grow together in unity and health and look more like Christ Jesus who died for us all so that we might be free from the carnal behaviors we were once known for?
I know which one I would rather be part of. How about you?