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7 July, 2017 15:01

July 7, 2017

OVERLOOKING THE OBVIOUS!

The role of any Christian father is to raise his children to be Godly, obedient, polite, hard working, honest, compassionate, prayerful and purposeful. Imagine then having the job of evaluating a father’s effectiveness in his role as a father.

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You begin by checking his marriage license to make sure he is married. Then you talk to his wife to see how they are getting along together. You may even go as far as having him take a complete physical with x-rays and blood tests. Following that you ask to examine their financial records to make sure everything is in order and that they are paying all their bills on time. Having completed that task you then delve into the way the father keeps his home; are his lawns well maintained and does the house need painting? Following this thorough examination you announce that the father has passed with an A+ and is in fact an exemplary father for all to admire.

Perhaps as you read this you thought to yourself did anyone ask the children what their father was really like? If anyone knew what the father was like it would be the children, and yet they were never asked.

I recently attended a church service where one of the board members told the congregation that they had recently been audited by several pastors. These men were brought in to go through the books, to make sure the church was financially sound. Then they spoke in detail to the pastor and his wife all of which took several days to complete. The board member then proudly announced that they were in ‘good hands’ spiritually because those giving oversight had found nothing wrong. My only objection with this whole approach was that the sheep were never asked to give their opinion. Ask any married man how his marriage is doing and he will possibly say, great! Then ask the wife about her husband and she may give you an entirely different story.

This type of assessment is carried on year after year in some congregations without ever hearing from those who sit faithfully in the pews every week supporting the church with their tithes and offerings. Added to this is that in many churches the congregation is taught to honor and respect their leaders no matter what they do. While I am in full agreement with honoring those in authority, we must be careful not to over do it lest we create immunity for those who may be self-serving rather than serving the people. You may recall God’s anger against Eli who honored his sons more than the Lord. He knew they were acting ungodly and yet he let them get by with it. God eventually took their lives as a result of their actions.

Here is my suggestion to evaluating the spiritual condition of a church. By all means go through the financial records, the marital state of the pastor(s) but then randomly select 10-20 people from the congregation who have no official position in the church and ask them for their opinion on how things are going. At least in that way you’ll have a more accurate assessment of the true condition of the church and leader.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. leastofall permalink
    July 7, 2017 4:21 pm

    Great point David, trying to get a true evaluation should come from people who have got nothing to gain or lose. A lot of these audits are smoke and mirrors. At least it’s something.

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