A Church "Rescue" Plan
April 27, 2012
Ray Ortlund offers a sure fire way to "rescue" your church in only three weeks:
Walk into church this Sunday and think about how long you’ve been a member, how much you’ve sacrificed, how under-appreciated you are. Take note of every way you’re dissatisfied with your church now. Take note of every person who displeases you. Take note of all the new people whose presence is changing your church.
Meet for coffee next week with another member and “share your heart.” Discuss how much your church is changing, how you and others are being left out. Ask your friend who else in the church has “concerns.” Agree together that you must “pray about it.”
Send an email to a few other “concerned” members. Inform them that a groundswell of grievance is surfacing in your church. Problems have gone unaddressed for too long. Ask them to keep the matter to themselves “for the sake of the body.”
As complaints come in, form them into a petition to demand an accounting from the leaders of the church. Circulate the petition quietly. Gathering support will be easy. Even happy members can be used if you appeal to their sense of fairness – that your side deserves a hearing too. Be sure to proceed in a way that conforms to your church constitution, so that your petition is procedurally correct.
When the growing moral fervor, ill-defined but powerful, reaches critical mass, confront the elders with your demands. Inform them of all the woundedness in the church, which leaves you with no choice but to put your petition forward. Inform them that, for the sake of reconciliation, the concerns of the body must be satisfied.
Whatever happens from this point on, you have won. You have changed the subject in your church from gospel advance to your own negativity. To some degree, you will get your way. Your church will need several years to recover. But at any future time, you can do it all again and keep your church exactly where you want it. It only takes three weeks.