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Tackle Tough Topics With Grace

It’s funny how the more a church grows, the more the temptation of “fear” starts to set in within her leaders.  Churches start out with a good cause: to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and to spur on Kingdom living.  The ramifications grow though, when the church grows.

Kingdom living sometimes involves having tough conversations.   If we truly love each other, we need to be honest about each other’s dysfunctions.  If we truly love each other, than we would be troubled when someone makes decisions that are hindering their own walk, or worse leads others towards unhealthy living or pain.

But that that kind of love is uncomfortable 

Some deal with this discomfort by being bullies.  They hold on to truth, but if they can dehumanize someone, than it is easy to judge them or categorize them.  Other go the opposite route in being “nice”, masking their insecurity by avoidance in the name of, “lets all just get along”.

Ironically, church leaders can be the worse at this.  Honest healthy living, along with honest healthy conversations, can have a severe impact on numbers.  You see, most people really don’t want to hear truth about themselves, so confrontation means attendance can go down. Even giving goes down if you tick of the wrong person!  So some church leaders live a life of avoidance to keep weekly numbers up.  Other church leaders can go the opposite extreme and become legalist (bullies).  By being strict there are actually large numbers out there that will attend because surely the church is standing for truth and that is Kingdom living – right?

Kingdom living means handling tough topics with grace, but also is courageous in truth. To honestly teach what the bible teaches on the subject, but to find yourself at the same time deeply loving and caring for this hurting person.  That’s grace, honesty must always go hand in hand with deep compassion and desire for long-term health.

Of course in the long run, even worse case scenario, if the numbers go down and stay down, what do you think: What appeals to Christ more: a large crowd that talks of Kingdom living but ignores an underline dysfunction OR half the crowd doing their best in being like Christ?

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