Article - How to Deal with Church Problems
When problems arise at a congregation, it is not always the problems themselves that do the damage, but how each member deals with the alleged problems. For example, Sister Chatter tells Brother Gossip that she saw Bill, a church deacon, pulled over beside a beer joint helping a young mother change her flat tire. As Brother Gossip hears the story he is so gossipy that all he hears is a church deacon was seen at the beer joint with a young mother. After the twisted story leaves the venomous lips of Brother Gossip, goes through the demented mind of Sister Busybody, then the story comes out like this. Have you heard that Brother Bill, who has always been a faithful deacon, has now left the church and is seen at the beer joint regularly with one of the young mothers from our congregation? Such exaggerated stories like this should leave us with mixed emotions. They make us want to laugh because they are so far fetched and distorted. Yet, at the same time, they make us want to cry because we all know rumors like this one have done horrendous harm to the church of the Lord. What then should the Christian do when he hears about church problems?
- Consider the source. Is the person who is telling me this biased toward a certain group or view? Is this person known for being a gossip and spreading rumors? Was this person actually there or did they get the information second-hand?
- Remember, there are always two sides to a story. Every story, no matter how good, bad or ugly, has two sides. Before believing a rumor that you hear, make sure you get both sides of the story. This is especially important as it relates to religious and biblical matters. Be sure and find out if there are any biblical principles in the story that you have not been told. A lot of times when you explore both sides of the story you see things that some would rather you not know.
- Always, Always—Go to the Source! The best way to deal with problems is to go to the source. Not only is this the best way…this is the way Jesus tells us to deal with problems. Jesus said, "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15). Jesus makes the matter of dealing with problems so simple when he says “Go to your brother!” We are a family. We all want to go to Heaven. Have the common decency to go to the person and work it out with them first. Never ever deal with problems by gossiping, or becoming a tattle-tell of all the church problems. May God help us to use wisdom and common decency when we hear of church problems!
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