A few days ago, family members and I were talking about how difficult it can be to minister to a church, whether in an official capacity or on a volunteer basis. One would think it might be easy, but it’s not.
Expectations for success are high. Tolerance for mistakes is low. Church members have opinions, sometimes strong ones. It’s difficult to satisfy the needs, real or imagined, of everyone.
When we’re in a twit about what’s going on in the church, we should read Philippians 2:14-15 (NIV): “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”
Do everything without grumbling or arguing? That’s a high bar–perhaps an imaginary church. Paul implies, if not saying outright, that if, in the church, we are grumblers or if we love a good argument, we are no better than what was then and is now a warped and crooked generation. Think about that.
In juxtaposition to that terrible state, if we don’t grumble or argue, we will “shine…like stars in the sky.” Both the negative and positive aspects of grumbling and arguing–or not doing so–demonstrate how difficult it is to avoid that kind of activity. I doubt we readily believe that when we grumble or argue, we are linking ourselves with a warped and crooked generation. At the same time, we probably don’t think–not really–that dealing with our fellow Christians in a “blameless and pure” manner transforms us into stars in the sky.
Perhaps we just don’t get it.