There are many small things in most churches that if you removed them the church as a whole would run better. For me one of the big ones is talking about people instead of talking to people. There is nothing quite like a church for breeding complaints and bitterness. Finding a group of people who have similar complaints to you and sitting around complaining together is a favorite pastime in most Christian groups I have been a part of.
I would like to say that this stuff is stupid. My universal answer is always, “If you have a problem with me come and talk to me. Until you come to me directly I am not going to worry about it.” But my wife pointed out to me today that if I hear that there are things going on and all I do is complain about how people always complain I am just being part of the problem. So I have a new plan. When I hear that someone is complaining about me, I am going to go to them and ask them about it. It scares me because I fear confrontation as much as if not more than anyone and I would rather gather a few people together and talk about how terrible the people who are complaining are. But in the end then I am not being a leader; I am just responding like everyone else.
But the problem I have is how do you confront people complaining and stuff without sounding accusatory and without making things worse. I mean here would be the situation. “Hey Bill, Kate said that Jean said that Ron said that he and Daniel and you were sitting around talking and you have a real problem with the way I part my hair. Can we talk about it?” It just sounds silly. Then on top of that is the fact that no one is going to tell you the truth and you have a big mess on your hands.
But even still if I am going to tell people to come to me when there is a problem I have to be willing to go to them, even when I am not the one with the problem. I have found that the only way to stop complaining and behind the scenes bickering is to get things out in the open. It just terrifies me to do that.
Dang, I hate it when Meredith is right.
Actually I kind of think it is cool when she reminds me of the man I need to be. She always does it in such a soft way. There are times when I just forget and she is there to help me and strengthen me. She is the very definition of a strong Christian wife and even though it hurts sometimes when she corrects me it is one of the great joys of my life serving God alongside her and I wouldn’t be half the man that I am without her presence in my life.