From a concerned Christian: I recently became very curious, and because you can sign up as “other” and not as a pastor, I signed up on the www.pastors.com site for the forum. These are pastors in a purpose driven forum. The title was on "dealing with opposition." Here are a few quotes. ... Just remember, these are the pastors or elders/leaders who deal with people who complain or point out problems they see with the Purpose Driven movement. This first bit was a comment and question by the moderator. I guess Dan is a teacher or author????. After trying to convert a few, so do we.
"Dan reminds us that people the unpredictability of people and their reactions is still pretty predictable, and he lays out a plan - based on Nehemiah's experiences and solutions - for preparing for and handling the opposition that will come and for accepting the fact that "You will lose people." Who they are will surprise you, but you must let them go. What can you add to this unfortunate reality?"
"One of the great things I've heard Dan Southerland say is "We shoot wolves"
"Everyone is welcome at this congregation, but this congregation is not for everyone. You can come here and make life-long friends, raise your family, grow your marriage, and find a place to serve Christ, but the one thing you cannot do is stay here and complain and create disunity. There are 100 other churches within a few minutes of here that seem to welcome that kind of thing, and you are free to choose one of those, but we've put a lot of thought into why we do what we do, and we're going to continue to do it that way, and it's not up for debate - so if it's not for you, it's not for you. We can help you find another place to worship that better suits your personality, or we can ask you to leave. How easy it is is up to you."
Part of the process is what we cal "guarding the gate." It means that you do not let the opposition walk through the doors and join the church without understanding fully who they are and what they have done in their previous church life.
I woke up after a couple of years of opposition and realized that just a year or so ago, I had welcomed the oppostion into the church. Somehow deep down inside I knew that these folks would probably cause trouble but I mistakenly thought that I could change them and that they wouldn't cause trouble in my church. Don't make the same mistake...guard the gate.
Be prepared for the wolf to be someone close to you and helping lead the charge. Others have their own agenda too often. Be ready to let people walk another path and go ahead with a smaller crowd.
Also, put into place on the front end the 101 type of class to help people fully get what you are about. We heve had people tell us that they came here because they thought they could get into leadership. "Don't let the door hit you...."
passionately pursue God and express His love to others." Matthew 22:37-40
When transitioning you'll have two battle fronts: the one inside and the one that comes from the outside. Dealing with the already existing opposition can drive you down real bad. Cause these are people already there, they owned the place before you got there. They smile at you and later will hang you! They call the shots!
In my case it was a great God's given opportunity that I was able to amend the By-laws and the Constitution, taking away some of the traditional Southern Baptist land-mines. Control was taken away from the people and ministry was given out to them. If our newer By-Laws and Church's Constitution were a bottle, CLASS 101 becace the "Closing lid"! ( I hope this makes sense)
Dealing with the "incoming" opposition has been easier! The filter is CLASS 101 and since we don't yet have a large attendance, it is easy to spot " the believers" from other churches that I cautiously approach after their second or third visit. Then If they keep coming back, I need to find out everything about them...that seems to work great...few stay!!!...
Since this is an open
forum, I don't want to give the wrong impression that we don't care for
christians. We do care for christians! But I dislike christians that even
before they become members and know why we do what we do, they're so ready
to tell me what's wrong with us! I dislike christians that come to be
served, to be feed!
At all times preach the
gospel...if necessary use words!
I took me almost 20 years of ministry to get this - but it has really been a help for the last 10 years of ministry since learning it.
Anyone who comes to your church mad at their former pastor or at their former church will be mad at you within a couple of years! God has not fixed them, and you will not fix them either. Why is that? Because they do not want to be fixed! [i.e. conformed to the transitioning process which compromises God's Word]
They thrive on creating
conflict and controversy. [No they don't! They are
grieved by the distortions of Truth] They believe their role is
to oppose everything that comes up whether they really oppose it or not.
Glen said it well - this is why we must guard the gate of who comes in. By the way - your greatest critics are rarely those you lead to Christ. They are almost always people who come from another church with a chip on their shoulder, daring you to knock it off.
Keep Taking Risks
What 101 has done for us is give us the ability to tell people who we are upfront. The other thing that protects the flock is having a leadership structure that is set-up to be difficult to get into. If someone comes here looking for a position they won't find one. We make it very difficult to get into that structure on purpose.
"To passionately pursue God and express His love to others." Matthew 22:37-40
It takes time, but once you've built a solid leadership team and have a few wolf killings under your belt, you learn to act swiftly the next time opposition stirs. We have a biblical "third strike and you're out" approach to genuine opposition to the vision. Just be careful that the opposition is that and not simply that they won't understand. Some people genuinely don't get it until they can see it in action. Others refuse to cooperate and cause division.
But let me reiterate: it takes time to instill the vision and build the core who get it. Old habits die hard.
I'm getting both internal and external opposition these past few weeks. We've got a couple that I've confirmed are "spiritual predators," who want to come to our church. They've helped with our VBS so we know them, but after finding out their history I've decided I and a couple deacons will meet with them and basically tell them what I've learned from their previous pastors about them, then say they're welcome to visit but in order to be considered for membership or leadership they must meet with me and their last pastor to reconcile with him. That's external.
Then this week I asked my pianist to step down from worhsip team. She's played only hymns for the last couple months cause she was so busy at work she couldn't make praise and worship practice. I felt so free leading worship I decided to ask [her?] to step down just from that. Well, of course, as graciously as I did it, she took it as a personal attack and ripped me up and down. This was Tuesday.
Yesterday (Friday) we
sat down to try and iron things out. She was somewhat more reasonable, but
still taking it personally and not "getting" that it was about different
styles of worship playing. So we must be doing something right -
Satan's working overtime. PTL! Ed
I have been blessed or cursed dont know in that I have never gotten notes with and unknown author folks have always come face to face with me of course havnt transitioned a church the way many of yall have as I do things a bit differnt and am able to adapt somethings. I heard Dr Patterson or PP as many on campus say in chapel oneday about notes with unnown writers he had gotten that if ya cannot sign your name to em he cannot read em. He said to announce that to your churches to as we as pastors are out there saying what we have to say publicly but many will just give a tacky note to ya and wont sign it. Dont know if I agree with him on saying it but it is a way to deal with em Dave
God Forbid that I should
glory save in the cross of my LORD Jesus Christ
I had to learn this the
hard way without any leadership team.
wolf-killing got done,
I've got the scars to prove it. But, I LEARNED! and indeed, next time I will
Philippians 2:5 -- Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
From George Cancilla. I agree with the article, "Spurgeon on the Down-Grade" ["The greatest enemies of those who truly follow Jesus will be those from the religious community who will despise your single-minded dedication, your commitment and your refusal to compromise..."]
Religious Babylon is the false church built by man, far removed from the Church that Christ is building. False prophets build false churches. It seems that there is a race on amongst many church builders as to who can have the fanciest, biggest buildings with the most elaborate public address systems and latest video capabilities. Unlike many local church groups which represent a local Body of Christ, these architechural monstrosities seem like a modern Tower of Babel -- built to impress God. We know that He was not impressed then, and I doubt that He is impressed the current monuments to man's power. Religion would like to teach us a method and a formula for everything, but Christ is no religion. We can come to Christ no matter where we are whether it be in a building, a home, or in our cars. The biggest threat to Christianity comes from within its own ranks.
From Phil: Okay, so quite frankly there is a good reason we need to keep you out of our schools in the first place. You want to rape our schools with your ignorance and convert them all, and that is what we are trying to prevent. You want everyone to be Christian?
Great, but I don't think Jesus went around trying to convert everyone in the world, in fact if you even did your research on your OWN RELIGION you would know that Jesus was taught and taught other Spiritual leaders of the time. I am fairly sure that when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me," (John 14:6). He was talking to a SPECIFIC GROUP OF PEOPLE AND NOT THE WHOLE WORLD AND WHOMEVER MIGHT READ THIS PERVERTED MISTRANSLATED TEXT FROM A THOUSAND YEARS AGO.
get a brain, all we're trying to do is get rid of all you idiots so we can move forward in time and stop living by your backwoods redneck view on spirituality. How ignorant is it to think that billions will burn in eternal flames because they don't believe exactly how you believe about some texts that were selectively chosen to be Cannonized and then even MORE books were taken out to fit Protestantism! Not to mention how HORRIBLY mistranslated the thing is. But ya'll know everything right? please!
I'm not speaking to the whole world, Phil. I only exercise my right in America to share my views -- and the reasons for my faith -- with those people who choose to come to our website. You came willingly, didn't you? I welcome all who visit us, and I don't go "around trying to convert everyone."
Would you like to trade America’s constitutional freedom for the kind of lawlessness that once permitted angry crowds to lynch those who held contrary values?
Anonymous: "You're probably the most ignorant people on the entire planet. You have no right to say that the Wiccan religion is wrong. Did God tell you? Are you hearing voices in your head? If you are, I'm sorry to say that it's probably not God, much more likely that you're suffering a form of dementia." A visitor to our website
From a concerned Christian: [RE: Trial begins over death of Christian who questioned homosexual lifestyle choice] In this murder trial, the allegation of self-defense is predicated on the notion that hurting a gay person's feelings merits being beaten, stabbed, strangled, and raped.
What frightens me more than the notion that someone actually thinks he can get away with systematically torturing a middle-aged mother of four to death--regardless of his motivation--is the fact that so many people out there are cheering for him!
The irony of these same people calling us Christians "bigots" and haters and whatnot is probably quite lost on them. None of us honestly advocate the death penalty for homosexuality--and yet they think summary execution by torture is okay for just holding an opinion different from theirs.
In any event, I think that if an attorney actually thinks she can win or mitigate the outcome of the trial by asserting the "defense" in question, the outright persecution of Christians in America is closer than I suspected.
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