Church troublemakers and church moneymakers

“I wonder if they know who they are?”

That was my thought as I was preaching this weekend.  At one point I shared my observation about going to a new church.  Each time I have been reappointed a moment comes when someone wants to have a talk with me.  Their intentions are good, I hope.  They want to prepare me; they don’t want me to be unaware.  They are pastors and church members.  They make sure I know who in the church are the troublemakers and the moneymakers.  You probably just had visions of people who fit those categories, didn’t you?

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It’s always one of those two kinds of people.  Or maybe even the “tail twisters.”  Those are the people that get things done, apparently.

Again, it’s an attempt to spare or prepare me.  But, and this was my point on Sunday, no one has ever told me, initially, who the prayer person is that I need to know about.  Who is the one that faithfully prays for the needs and mission of the church?  Who are the people that others look to for spiritual guidance?  I want to know who those people are first.  Which members have been instrumental in the spiritual care of their church?

Of course, troublemakers, moneymakers and prayer warriors will eventually be known.  It only strikes me that it’s the first two that everyone else wants me to know first.  And as I mentioned that during this week’s sermon, I wondered if the troublemakers and moneymakers know who they are.  I didn’t let anyone point fingers.  Maybe it would have been fun to let them.  I’m sure there’s some point of pride for some of those people, and maybe a bit of shock for others.

And I guess I want to speak more to those eager to fill me in on the who’s to know situation at church.  What does it say about our churches when troublemakers and moneymakers are the people you think I need to know about.  Or what does that say about you?  Your take on ministry?  Believe me, with a big mouth like mine, the troublemakers will find me!  Anyone who has worked with me know that money is the least of my concerns when it comes to building the Kingdom.

My hope is that I can introduce you to some people that will powerfully influence your ministry and life.  Our churches are full of saints who love God with their lives in ways that inspire the rest of us.  I’ve known church members who knew scripture better than trained preachers.  I’ve known people who pray for their preacher and preacher’s family. Every. Single. Day.  Those are the kinds of people we need to know about first.  Those are the people that have been a blessing to me and my family.  They’ve made the biggest difference in my work.

Well, I guess I have a few other hopes.  I hope those blessings of people know who they are.  I hope I can take what they have taught me and use it to be a more faithful follower of Jesus.  Finally, no matter what anyone else has told me about you, I hope those troublemakers and moneymakers know I don’t treat or think of them any differently than anyone else.

Stay blessed…john

 

+picture credit: Visual hunt

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