A friend of mine was recently sharing about a Family Meeting her church had held for all the members. The evening was meant to bring the family together to ask questions, to talk through vision, upcoming volunteers needed, and conclude with a large circle of prayer together.
Lord let there be no negativity allowed in our church.
–from the sweetheart of a pre-teen
What a beautiful request that we can play a part of, although I’m sure this made a few adults shift their weight from foot to foot. Father, search us and show us the ways negative words and attitudes have crept into our hearts.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:9-10
Yikes, James delivered this truth of how can we praise God with the same tongue that speaks ill of those he made in his image? We’ve all been guilty of it. Probably already today, we’ve grumbled something ugly about someone else, or thought it in our head if not verbal.
When I hopped on Facebook today I saw a post from a friend sharing about a California pastor who took his life after a struggle with depression. Oh Jesus, our hearts break for this Inland Hills Church Family. Pastors are in the thickest of battles as they seek to bring light, to grow the Bride of Christ and to shepherd well in a world that is growing in post-modernity faster by the second. How are we speaking kind words to and about our Pastor? Are we praying for our leaders and building them up with encouragement? I was strongly convicted when I read this article and thought of so many Pastors we know ‘When was the last time I prayed for them?’ How am I helping to spur them on or am I helping to add to the heavy weight of criticisms they feel up against? Just like out of the mouth of that babe in prayer circle, May there be no negativity in our church. How do we think it fires up our heavenly father? It’s his bride. Every bro knows you can joke on a dude’s bad hair, his newly developed dad bod belly, but you don’t bring jokes on his bride. It’s his bride.
gHusbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and hgave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by ithe washing of water jwith the word, 27 so kthat he might present the church to himself in splendor, lwithout spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.1 Ephesians 5
I’m thanking God for our Pastors today. I’m thanking God for the discipline he shows in calling out my wrongs. I’ve had to seek forgiveness for not lifting my Pastors up in constant prayer. Let’s rally around them today and ask God to cover them with His promises, to surprise them with Joy and to lift the weight of darkness and depression when it tries to penetrate into their minds. Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. I’m so thankful for that. May the gift of that good news refresh us today in the beautiful light of knowing he came to set us apart and look different from the world around us. The church isn’t perfect and I doubt I’d have to argue that with too many. The church is a group of broken people redeemed by Christ and sent to tell that good news to the world. Our Pastors are the shepherds called out to lead this group of people all over the world, may we speak grace to them and ask God to remove the negativity as it tries to creep in. Lord may it be so.
Here’s a great article from Thom Rainer on why pastor’s struggle with depression and how we can pray for them.