April - June 2018 Volume 3 Issue 2
When Church Members Misbehave: Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church! By Tom Cheyney Executive Director of Missions
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Dec/Jan 2017-18 Volume 3 Issue 1
When Church Members Misbehave:
Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church!
By Tom Cheyney
Saturate Orlando: Reaching the Entire City With Multiplying Disciples, Leaders and Churches
By Mark Weible
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Welcome to the Missions Rising Magazine: The quarterly resource magazine from Central Florida for Pastors, Staff, and Church Leaders!
Volume 3, No. 2
Missions Rising is published bi-monthly by the Greater Orlando Baptist Association 1906 West Lee Road Orlando, FL 32810 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Missions Rising Magazine of the Greater Orlando Baptist Association is going well and I could not be more excited! Ever since I arrived, six and a half years ago now, I wanted to replace the newsletter with a more resource focused magazine. In the beginning stages, we created what we called the Re-Source Magazine which was more of a document than a magazine. It has taken time for us to develop such a premier magazine for an association. This quarterly magazine is free to anyone and is launched with the intent of providing Just-In-Time Resourcing for pastors, staff and church leaders. Our goal is to provide you with a large resource on a specific subject, that is useable for pastors and deacons to equip the staff and laity. Additionally, there will be an accompanying article about half the size of the main issue that will focus on a tool for the local church. We encourage you to spread the word to your staff and church leaders about subscribing to this magazine. Simply go to: GOBA.org and look for the Missions Rising icon on the top header. As your mission partner and GOBA family, it is a great blessing to be able to provide you with such a cutting edge resource on a regular bases. Stay connected because more is coming... This issue is focused around:
When Church Members Misbehave:
Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church!
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Dr. Tom Cheyney is the Executive Director of Missions for the Greater Orlando Baptist Association and serves as the Executive Editor for the Missions Rising Magazine.
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When Church Members Misbehave:
Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church! “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore, be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves…Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:16, 40).
WARNING: If you are an abusive lay individual who is seeking to destroy the work of your church and the shepherd God has called to lead it, then this article will certainly be detrimental to your health. Read with caution and embrace repentance if this article speaks of you and your temperament at church. We are living in a day and age where satanic forces are everywhere. Even the local church can become a place where evil individuals are allowed to run rampant. Today, we will deal with one of the hardest issues pastors face when trying to lead the work of revitalization. It is when abusive lay people seek to hurt their under-shepherd. Why is it that there are some church members who constantly misbehave in church? Did they never learn how to be submissive to the under-shepherd that God has call and placed as the leader of the church? Are they afraid that their time of influence has passed? Are they saddened because the spiritual caliber of the church has risen above what they are willing to embrace and now they find themselves on the outs with where the church is going and what the rank and file desire as it moves into the future? Within some churches there is an air of toxic DNA that surfaces when those who have been part of killing the church are not happy with the pastor who the Lord is using to revitalize the church. Pastor abusers seldom repent of their sins and seek to remain in power until someone with a stronger backbone removes them. As shepherds continue to be battered, they ask themselves, “When will the silent majority of Godly church members join together and remove these bullies?” Satan loves that the members within the local church have not risen to expose and remove such individuals from destroying the church. God’s shepherds are
being destroyed by these abuses while the rest of the membership avoids dealing with these unhealthy situations in the church. I must admit to you that it is not always the laity that are destroying the church. There are pastors who have an entitlement issue that believe the church exists largely for pampering them. But in the field of revitalization mean spirited church members are destroying many churches that could actually be renewed if a few individuals would learn how to follow the under-shepherd that God has called to lead the church. In most churches the slaughter of their pastor goes unacknowledged. Did you observe that I did not say “unnoticed”? There are many in the church who know what is going on, but refuse to acknowledge it and deal with the slaughter of a man of God. Then they wonder why God has not chosen to bless them and grow their church. There is a secret church scandal going on. Kent Crocket in his book Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd writes, “The secret church scandal we’re talking about is the persecution of the pastor by mean-spirited people within the church, who are ‘pastor abusers.’ They’re planted in nearly every congregation. Many are even running the church. They may be deacons, disloyal staff members, or members of the congregation who are determined to destroy the pastor through personal attacks, slander, and criticism. Outwardly they may look respectable, but inwardly their hearts are wicked, and their mission is to bring down their spiritual leader.”1 I have always questioned why those who profess they are believers and followers of Christ would purposely seek to hurt the very one the Lord can use to revive their church! Paul writes, “Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus
1 Kent Crockett, Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack
their Shepherd (Prattville, AL: Kent Crockett Ministries, 2012), Pgs. 8-9.
It would behoove all of us to heed the Apostle Paul’s admonishment within the local church. Yet, you have seen these types of abusers all around dying churches. They are individuals who want to be in control of everything and that includes the pastor. Some have a bone to pick with the shepherd because they hurt their unrepentant feelings during the sermon. There are some who do not like his emphasis on trying to renew the church by catering to the young. Some just want the pastor, and church for that matter, to be around long enough to bury them and they really do not care what comes after. Other pastor abusers do not like the style that the shepherd preaches in, showing disdain for the stories and applications throughout the sermon. There are even those bold abusers who will meet with the pastor and draw a line in the sand. Telling the pastor that if they follow this individual’s advice they will be around for a long time, but if they ignore the wishes of this influential lay person they will see to it that the pastor is run out of town quickly.
realize what is going on because the minister rises above the war and the abusers put on a pretense that they are innocent of their sins. These abusers get mad and attack the pastor at every chance they get. We should not be surprised because even the apostle Paul was maligned by those who lived in both Galatia and Corinth as the books of Corinthians and Galatians share. Paul was regarded as the enemy for many in those communities. I see pastors all the time changing careers because of the mean spirited people who abuse them and their families. One pastor said it was more peaceful to be yelled at three or four times a year selling a specific product than to be crucified each and every Sunday by someone who wants to pick a fight.
On Point with Dr. Tom Cheyney
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”2
I recently had a conversation with a pastor who told me of an individual in his church who was so negative towards everything even though the church was growing and better than it had ever been before. I asked him when that individual was out of the church if there was a spirit of relief and joy in the fellowship. The pastor agreed that was
Remember that being nice is never more honored by God than being honest. It is hard to believe that there are those types of people in the church, and yet they are everywhere. How can such individuals seek to hurt the pastor? It is as if the Holy Spirit is no longer living in their lives. There is a “holy hush” going on in our churches regarding this secret. There is an epidemic going on in the churches of the western hemisphere. Did you know that over 19,000 pastors leave the ministry every year and when this Sunday’s sermon is finished, more than 350 pastors will be gone before the next Sunday service begins? (Crocket. 9.) It is time for the church to call these individuals to repentance and if they refuse, church discipline should be exercised. We are living in a day where the make-up of the local church has allowed such behavior to go on for too long without any reprisal. Ministers today are in the midst of a war they did not choose and every Sunday the majority of the participants fail to
2 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard ver-
sion. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Col 3:14–17.
the case. I stated that this individual was so toxic that the only DNA he could spew was extreme negativity towards everything and that he and his church needed to deal with it. As a pastor, recognize that there will be those who cause trouble in any church. Sometimes there are just overbearing people who are not well and complain about everything. There are those who enjoy stirring the pot so to speak and are not happy unless there is a war brewing with the pastor of the church. These Shepherd abusers hide in groups who openly seek to destroy the work of the Lord in the church all the while disguising their actions among the feelings of others. It is time to shut these complainers down and spiritually discipline them. Novice pastors will try to appease them which is why your church has such a long list of pastors who only stayed for a short time. These mean-spirited individuals are not seeking reformation they are seeking destruction of the local shepherd. You are better off, as the shepherd, separating them from the various groups before they become the undertow which
When Church Members Misbehave: Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church!
drags you and the church under. These individuals are more interested in sowing discontent, being disgruntled, showing annoyance, and stirring up the anxiety level within the entire church. Remember that being nice is never more honored by God than being honest. Sharing the truth is never the problem. The problem is always the problem. It is better to deal with one mean person than to allow them to fester more anxiety and foster a negative spirit in the church.
Some Practical Advice When You Constantly Face Attack as the Shepherd The most practical advice I can give you when you are dealing with the dragon of abusive laity is that you need to run not walk into the loving arms of our Lord for refuge. The Psalmist understood these attacks and wrote about it in Psalms: Listen to my words, Lord; consider my sighing. Pay attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for I pray to You. At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly. For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with You. The boastful cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all evildoers. You destroy those who tell lies; the Lord abhors a man of bloodshed and treachery. But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You. Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my adversaries; make Your way straight before me. For there is nothing reliable in what they say; destruction is within them; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongues. Punish them, God; let them fall by their own schemes. Drive them out because of their many crimes, for they rebel against You. But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May You shelter them, and may those who love Your name boast about You. For You, Lord, bless the righteous one; You surround him with favor like a shield.3 Do not attack them because that is what they desire. Rise above their abuse and lead the church to deal with them scripturally even if they are asked to leave.
3 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Ps 5:1–12.
Dismissing a member, though not popular, is better than allowing that individual to destroy the church. Now, I realize that we all have enough planks in our own eyes to manufacture furniture at IKEA. But we must deal with such pastor abusers for the sake of the church. Church Revitalizers are often easy targets for dying churches. They have come to the church to be an instrument the Lord uses to bring life back to something that no longer has life, and there will be those who begin making venomous attacks almost immediately. We as laymen in the church should be aware that pastors are vulnerable to being devalued, scorned, or even hated if identified too closely with a former pastor who is the blame for past tragedies, losses, or church catastrophes. You are an easy target for those who seek status quo. It is important to realize that there are pastor abusers in the church that have as their main goal to abuse or hurt pastors to the degree that they will leave the ministry. If you are not tough skinned and easily melt at the onslaught of even a tiny skirmish, you are not cut out to be a church revitalizer. If you easily get discouraged when someone does not like you, this is not the work for you. None of us are immune from reproach from obnoxious laity.
Think in the Scriptures of Those Who Were Attacked King David was relentlessly under fire. He was God’s anointed and yet you see it throughout the Psalms. You can rest assured that if you are serving the Lord you will have seasons of criticism and blatant attacks. So what do you do when you are constantly under attack? The Psalmist helps us. In Psalm 5, David might have been thinking about Absalom’s rebellion in Psalm 3 - 4. We are not absolutely sure when it was written. I understand there are some who believe it was written in David’s later years as he reflected on his running from King Saul. Yet, it is clear that his enemies were not the type of people you want to hang out with. They were liars, and dishonest in their actions and speech. They flattered him on the outside while trying to destroy him behind the scenes. This passage tells us to take refuge when the piranhas come. Allow the Lord to be our defender. -In verses one through seven, we see that when we are under attack we should take refuge in the Lord.
Consider the following revealing statistics regarding the treatment of pastors:
-Our prayers need to be continual expecting the Lord to hear us and help us.
1,600 pastors leave the ministry each month.
25% of current pastors have been terminated at some point in their career.
33% of churches either fired their last pastor or forced him to leave.
90% of pastors said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.
80% of pastors say their ministry has had a negative impact on their children.
65% of pastors have thought recently about giving up on ministry.
80% of pastors’ wives feel left out and unappreciated by the church members.
Over 50% of pastors report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
-In these times of pain, we should call out to the Lord simply and transparently. If you look at verse three in this passage, he shares that these attacks were so prevalent that the first thing he thought about when he woke up was the threats of these evil enemies. So, he immediately turned those thoughts into prayer. Whatever trials God sends into our lives are there to cause us to turn to Him in honest, personal, persistent prayer. When you are under attack, take refuge in the Lord through prayer. God does not take pleasure in wickedness as verse four shares. In fact, He hates it. God stands apart from it and His Word warns us continually that He will condemn all unrepentant sinners to the Lake of Fire forever. You often hear the cliché that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Here David says that God not only hates the sin,4 He also hates “all who do iniquity. The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”
Is Your Church Unhealthy and Abusive? Do you as the shepherd spend a lot of time dealing with specific individuals or a small group that constantly eat up your ministerial time dealing with things they do not like about you or the church? Think about the hours you spend in any given month dealing with these abusive personalities. It is surprising just how many churches believe they can tell the pastor what to do and that the pastor is required to do it. They believe their command for you is sufficient to get you to do whatever they want. Pastor abusers are rarely held accountable for their actions. This emboldens them to keep attacking God’s shepherds, knowing that no one will challenge their despicable behavior. Eventually someone must take a stand against the abusers and hold them accountable, or their attacks will never end.
4 (C.f. Psalm 5:6-10.)
On Point with Dr. Tom Cheyney
-We are to do so by praying as transparently as we are able.
Those who are abusing you at your church often have either abused others in a former church or have abused former pastors of your church. Pastor abusers usually have told themselves that they are in the right and their mission is to remove you from pastoring the church. Some arrogantly believe that you are done as a minister. It is not a reflection on the Lord’s will because this individual vigilante leader deems it so. Patriarchal and matriarchal power brokers often wield enormous control and influence over a dying church. They can become controlling and manipulative. These patriarchs and matriarchs often choose to hinder the church from moving forward and instead of supporting and encouraging the church revitalizer, often see him as a threat to their long-time control. Young or naive ministers often do not know that anything is even going on. Young deacons are sabotaged by the longtime oligarchy working behind their backs. Young ministers are ambushed and newly elected lay leaders are astonished that this type of thing even happened. Remember this, most of the challenges the church is facing have more to do with those laity controlling and strangling the church than it does with the pastor. They are more interested in destroying a pastor’s reputation, Continued on Page 14
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When Church Members Misbehave: Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church!
getting them out of the church and seeking to destroy your ministerial profession completely. Then they wonder why the Lord has not seen clear to grow their church. All this while the rank and file of the church allow this to happen.
with an emotional disorder. Not all bad behavior is of a spiritual nature only.
Here are some simple tell tale signs of those who operate as pastor abusers:
-Quite charming and hospitable on Sundays -Threatened by other strong leaders. -Magnificent manipulators who disguise their individual vulnerabilities. -Controlling and practice on weaker church members as well. -Unwilling to take responsibility for things they do wrong. -Elated when pastors and staff walk on eggshells fearing the worst. -Happy one minute and mad the next. -Verbally assaulting towards the pastor. -Isolated from the majority of church members and most of the family. -Very sensitive and take offense easily. -Delighted in cruelty toward the minister. -Sorry often, but seldom truly repentant.
As the pastor you often find yourself ministering to negative, toxic people, draining the life right out of you as a minister. Sometimes they are co-workers, friends, or sadly, even family members. God never intends for us to spin our wheels and waste our days trying to make others happy who can never be happy. Because in reality, it does not depend on us. Their happiness is not up to you. They may want you to think it is, as if you possess the power to improve the value of their existence, but that is not a burden meant for you to carry. God’s greatest desire is to set us free. Sometimes what propels that change is for some brave soul to be willing to say, “Stop it, no more toxic poison in the church!” Your church needs you to choose which is better and to learn to set proper boundaries that will protect and limit the control an unhealthy person might be placing on a minister’s life. Today is a good day to stop wasting time in toxic patterns of living. For the Lord has better in store for all of us. Here are some of the most common types of toxic people we may rub shoulders with every day as pastors and church revitalizers:
The apostle Paul warned in Ephesians:
The Controller – This person is a master manipulator
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29.
Dealing with Such Abuse There are people in the church who seek to create pain for the minister. But here are a few things you can do to deal with these individuals. Practice Matthew 18:15-20 when dealing with pastor abuser offenses. This is the beginning place I might add. Do not sweep this abnormal behavior under the rug. It is not likely to go away on its own, especially if it has happened more than once already. Remember that past performance of an individual is a strong indicator of future performance. Abusive church members have more than one issue that has never been resolved. That is why they openly attack at church. Give prayerful consideration to the possibility that the abusive member may be dealing
How to Protect Yourself from 10 Toxic Types in Church
and constant controller. They want to be in charge, not just of their lives, but of yours and everyone else’s too. They watch you like a hawk, ready to pounce on your every flaw. They micro-manage down to the last detail. They have trouble letting go; so they don’t. They hold on too tightly until it about chokes out all those around them, suffocating others with their drive to be superior.
The Abuser – This person is desperately needy inside
and takes it out on you and the world around them. Through their own experiences of internalized past hurt, they have become angry, vicious, and cruel to those they say they care the most about. These people need help from counseling and outside sources. They need healing from God. If you find yourself in the presence of an abuser, get help now. Don’t stay in a potentially dangerous situation with your false hope that you can somehow change their old patterns of abuse. It is not up to you. As a minister and a minister’s family, protect your life and the lives of those in your care.
you always feel like you have to tiptoe around. You never know what will set them off and fly into a fit of rage. These people become easily irate at even the smallest thing, which is a sure sign there’s a deep-rooted problem inside. They’ve been known to throw things, hit things in their way, or spout off angry words they can never get back. They yell, they scream and they are full of rage. They have fits of rage not easily soothed and out of control temper tantrums that more closely resemble the patterns of a two-year-old.
The Bully – This person can be subtle or outright
offensive in their attempts to bully, but either way, their desire is to dominate and make themselves look powerful. They have a strong need to feel better and look better than those around them, so they choose to bully anyone in their path. They use words, they use fists, they use lies, they use fear – but all in all, they want to push others down and exalt themselves and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
it’s become such a natural part of the way they talk. They tend to zap the energy and suck life right out of you if you’re around them too much. They walk in defeat and decide to believe the worst about most things – even you as their shepherd.
The Blamer – This person is never to blame for it
is always “your fault.” They will blame everything on others close to them. If they’re having a bad day, it’s your fault. If they’re running late, it’s your fault. If they lose something, it’s your fault. If they fail at something, it’s your fault. You will never win around the blamer because their aim is to bring you down through their constant blame game.
On Point with Dr. Tom Cheyney
The Too Easily Angered – This person is the one
The Gossip – This person is always talking, and
usually about someone else. They have an overriding need to be “in the know,” and to pass on the next juicy morsel to an open, listening ear. They can be vicious with their words, and cruel in their hearts towards others. They have no regard for the reputation of another. They feed on lies, exaggerations, hearsay, and half-truths. They tend to feel better
Do not sweep this abnormal behavior under the rug. It is not likely to go away on its own, especially if it has happened more than once already. Remember that past performance of an individual is a strong indicator of future performance. The Addict – This person is addicted to a sub-
stance or to a negative pattern or behavior that has severely affected their well-being as a person. They need professional help and they need spiritual help. They need people who will be brave to speak truth into their lives and not those who will feed their habit, enable their actions, or ignore dangerous signs of addiction. Recognize that this toxic pattern is bigger than just you. You are not to blame for the problem. But you can be the one that God uses to get them help.
The Negative – This person is the one who rarely
has anything positive to say, because they see everything with a negative slant and have no problem telling you why. The sun may be shining, but in their mind, “It’s probably about to rain.” Life is viewed through shaded, cloudy lenses. They tend to be complainers, worriers, and whiners. These people often don’t even realize what they’re doing because
while talking about others so they can somehow feel better about themselves.
The Arrogant – This person is proud, self-serving,
and always, always right. They never want to made the fool, but have no problem labeling others as foolish. They prey on the weak to make themselves appear better. They are quick to judge, quick to offer their opinions, and are rude to others in more subservient positions. Their goal in church is to be superior to all those around them.
The Victim – Not to be confused with one who
really has been victimized in life and who is seeking God’s peace and healing, this person is one who tends to feel they are constantly the victim. In every situation. All throughout life. They are always feeling taken advantage of, always needy, always telling you what another has done to hurt them, or how no one cares. They see themselves constantly Continued on Page 18
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When Church Members Misbehave: Dealing with Abusive Laity Destroying the Church! as the victim and before long, if you keep lending an ear; you may be the next one they feel victimized by.
Practical Advice for the Non-Abusive Laity Your pastor needs to know you are standing with him and right beside him. Do not assume others are already doing this. Be the first to come along side of him and support him in the work of revitalization of your church. Do not think that because your pastor has not shared this that he is not under some sort of abusive attack. There are disgruntled people in the church no matter how great it is doing. Notice Paul’s warning to those who would seek to divide the church. He says: “Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause dissensions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them, for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words. The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore, I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”5 Paul gives a word of caution to his readers, a forewarning that we too would do well to heed. He warned that they should watch out for spiritual enemies in the church. There were those who were divisive and sought to hinder the Lord’s local work. Not everyone was working for the spreading of the Gospel. There were some, for selfish reasons and individual ambitions, who were dividing the churches. In Romans 16 we see that there are those in the church intentionally causing dissensions and obstacles in the work of the church we are to watch out for them. Paul used two words to sum up what we are to do. These two words are: “to shun” and “to put off.” What a statement relating to pushing off such abusive people hurting the work of the church. He says “shove them away.” Division has ripped many churches apart and destroyed so many relationships and it is so unnecessary. Many times, someone becomes abusive, because they do not get their way; their pride is hurt, so they attack.
5 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Ro 16:17– 20.
That is why people who blow apart churches do not become people who edify and build people up. These types just go on to other churches to blow up even more churches. We need to watch out for the snipers in any church. Be on guard, for yourself, and for others. This may seem a bit harsh, but there are some people the church simply does not need. Focus on those who are actively walking with the Lord through the local church. I believe that most pastoral exodus could be lessened if the rank and file openly displayed their appreciation for their pastor. Stand by him and pray for him daily. Ask the Lord to give him wisdom to deal with abusive individuals. Cover his family in prayer. Ask the Lord to anoint his preaching. Encourage him rather than finding fault. Write a note to him and bless him by your kind words. Submit yourself to his leadership as pastor. Be willing to submit to the authority in the church you have chosen to be a part of. Be a regular attender. Serve the church you are a member. Be a contributor and not a complainer. Speak positively about your pastor or don’t speak at all.
What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do? When you come under attack by pastor eaters remember your training and trust your instincts as a church revitalizer. You know more about church revitalization than your laity do. Even your biggest critic has more invested that you are successful than you realize. You just might be the single ingredient for success instead of death in your church. Gripe they may, but in the end, they need you to keep their doors open so the death blow does not come knocking. The longer you have been around the church the better your intuition becomes. Dive into the loving Word of God for your strength and comfort. Memorize encouraging scripture each week and use it to keep you afloat in a sea of turmoil.
Recognize the toxicity in others – or even in
yourself. We all have hope to change through the grace and goodness of God. And the first step there is to fully understand that there’s a need. If the problem is with you, admit that you need help. If the issue stems from within a family member or close friend, try talking with them in humility and with honesty,
Set boundaries with tough love – Tough
love is able to say “enough.” Tough love says, “I care about you, but I care about me too, and I will not allow you to hurt me or those I love.” No other person has the right to trample you down, make you feel inferior, abuse, or bully you. Set limits to protect yourself. It is not up to you to change the other person’s behavior. It is up to you to protect your life and the lives of those in your care. You may need to adjust how much time you spend with certain people; you may need to spend time forming new, healthier friendships. Seek out counsel. Find a good support group of those who will encourage you and provide a safe place for you to share and pray. There is a great group on the third Thursday of every month as part of the associations pastor training. http://renovateconference.org/one-day
Keep moving forward in your trust in God –
He can accomplish great things through your prayers. He can move mountains. He can change hearts. Anything is possible through his great power. Understand that though it is never up to you to make someone different, he’s set you in their lives for a purpose and for a reason. And maybe the biggest purpose is to be light to them in their darkness, to extend gracious love and forgiveness no matter what, and to show your strength in a mighty God by setting clear boundaries and allowing them to answer to him, for the way they treat you or others.
Believe that God is for you – He loves you,
he cares for you, and he has good in store for your future. “So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Pastor killers leave a trail of thinning returns, ruined reputations of both clergy and laity, failed programs, and disenchanted staff members. These narcissistic patriarchs can not only hurt pastors they ultimately hurt the local congregation. The Lord does not owe these ruthless leaders a revitalized church and often it is the loving pastor who strives daily to renew a church that the Lord has chosen to bless. Dysfunctional churches go through pastor after
pastor praying for one strong enough to confront such abusive sin and become the turn-around agent of the declining church!
My Toxicity Prevention Plan: -Lead your membership to believe that real and lasting change is a possibility. -Hold yourself and your church leaders, both lay and professional, accountable for their actions. -Stop negativity from running rampant around the church. -Check your positivity meter and be sure you are speaking positively not negatively. -Work on communication becoming more open across the church. -Become tough skinned and learn to lean into the Lord. -Celebrate the small wins that will eventually lead into bigger wins. -Correct dysfunctional behaviors and model preferred behaviors. -Work more collaboratively instead of individually. -Be proactive as you sense you have the freedom to be in the renewal effort. -Handle the pastor abusers and dysfunctional behaviors head on. Dancing around them will never help the church. -Ask for help from someone on the outside of the church that is experienced in such issues. This allows for the church to be mad at them for a time and not you. -When the majority of the laity in the church shout “enough is enough,” you will be granted a moment in time to make corrections and move the church forward.
On Point with Dr. Tom Cheyney
letting them know how these patterns over time have made you feel.
Resource Note: An excellent resource to utilize as a pastor during this season of challenge is The Church Revitalizer as Change Agent. You can get a copy from amazon or you can go to: www.RenovateConference.org/Bookstore for a copy.
Dr. Tom Cheyney is the Exec-
utive Director of Missions for the Greater Orlando Baptist Association and serves as the Executive Editor for the Missions Rising Magazine. He is the Founder & Directional Leader of the Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference and provides various training events designed for the local church.
MISSIONS RISING! 6 REMARKABLE TOOLS TO FORTIFY THE PASTOR WITHIN YOU.
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REPRODUCING CHURCHES Church Planting Centers These one-day training events are offered locally on the first Thursday of
Find or post a possible pastoral or staff ministry position you are either searching for or are seeking a candidate.
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This monthly network is designed to assist the local church needing individual coaching. You may inquire to the costs involved and the commitments, which need to made as to the duration of the coaching cohort. There is an 18-month initial commitment required to join the network.
These events are offered locally on the third Thursday of each month. These events train pastors, staff, and laity in the necessary skill sets for the revitalization and renewal of the local church. Anyone is welcome at these monthly events!
GOAL Leadership Training
The Greater Orlando Adventures in Leadership is a monthly leadership training designed for both laity and ministers alike. These one-day events are focused towards a specific leadership issue each month.
each month. These events train church planters, church planting teams, and laity of the church plant in the necessary skill sets for the planting, reproducing, and multiplying of the local church. The local Central Florida events are offered for free while some of the national one-day events have a cost associated with the event.
Saturate Orlando: Reaching the Entire City With Multiplying Disciples, Leaders and Churches Several Greater Orlando Baptist Association churches are currently involved in Saturate Orlando – an effort to take the gospel to every home in Central Florida before Easter. At our last Executive Board meeting, I was talking with Bruce Mayhew, who is the pastor of Killarney Baptist Church and one of the Saturate Orlando anchor churches. Bruce reminded me of something that he had shared with his congregation, that in two of the Great Commission passages, Jesus told his disciples they had been given His Authority and His Power:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Saturate Orlando For the Sake of the Church Your church exists to make disciples. Discipleship is the result of evangelism and discipleship results in evangelism. Evangelism is the heartbeat and the true love of the 22
church. In Revelation 2:4, Jesus warned the Church at Ephesus that if they did not return to the evangelistic and church multiplication passion of their early days, then they were in danger of losing their church all together. The reason that many churches are not growing is that the heart of the church is not beating, and evangelism is the heartbeat of the local church. Many churches in need of revitalization see evangelism as a luxury that they cannot afford. There are too many other “squeaky wheels” that require immediate attention that push evangelism way down the list of priorities. Not doing evangelism is like saying that you are too sick to breathe. My father suffers from COPD and his greatest physical struggle is exhaling. He can’t take in any new air until he breathes out the air that already fills his lungs. In the same way the church must exhale by sending people out in order to bring new people in. Saturate Orlando is a very simple process that even the most introverted church members can support. Even people with limited physical abilities can sit around a table in fellowship with others and fill plastic bags with evangelistic materials. Then, those who can go door to door deliver the bags that contain a copy of the Jesus Film along with some evangelistic tracts and information about the church. The process is very healthy for any church in any condition.
If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you’ve probably heard me cast a vision for reaching all of Central Florida with the gospel resulting in Orlando becoming known more for Jesus Christ than Mickey Mouse. It started as a prayer several years ago. While reading Acts 19:10, I realized that God used the church at Ephesus to take the gospel, not only to their entire city, but also to every person in their region.
When I read that verse, I started to pray that God would reach Central Florida with the gospel. I began to imagine what our region would look like after every person living here has heard the gospel. I could imagine a day when Orlando was saturated with the gospel, saturated with churches and saturated with people living out the commands of Christ. I could see a day when every one of the millions of people visiting here would, at some point, encounter an evangelistic follower of Jesus. Beginning with the end in mind, I realized that I had just
Multiplying Churches with Mark Weible
Saturate Orlando For the Sake of the City
The reason that many churches are not growing is that the heart of the church is not beating, and evangelism is the heartbeat of the local church. Paul had gone to Ephesus to preach the gospel in the Jewish synagogue. Many Jews believed his message and started following Christ. However, some of them rejected the gospel and had Paul expelled from the synagogue. Paul took the new disciples with him and rented a school building called Tyrannus. It was there that he started the church at Ephesus and trained the Ephesian disciples in evangelism and church multiplication. (Acts 19 1-9). By the time we get to verse 10 of Acts 19, we see this curious comment by Luke:
This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:10)
received a vision from God – a future reality that Orlando would one day become known more for Jesus Christ.
Sharing the Vision to Saturate Orlando Of course, I realized that it would take more than one person to make that vision happen. I began to share it with everyone one I met. I shared it over and over again until people got sick of hearing it. I shared this vision far and wide – not only with people in Orlando, but with people all over America and the world. I prayed the prayer that Jesus commanded us to pray in Matthew 9:38: Continued on Page 28
900 North Street Longwood, FL 32750 mywaterstone.church
Church Revitalization Training Meetings 3rd Thursday of Each Month
8:30am - 11:55am 2018 RENOVATE 1 Day Training Meetings:
March 15 (all day) April 19 May 17 June 21 July 19 August 16 September 20 October 18 November 6-8 (3 day)
First Thursday of Each Month CHURCH PLANTER NETWORK Third Thursday of Each Month CHURCH REVITALIZATION TRAINING (RENOVATE ONE DAY) August 4 COACHING 101 Mark Weible
August 13 BI-VOCATIONAL PASTORS BREAKFAST Tom Cheyney
September 1 INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL CHURCH DEVELOPMENT Tom Cheyney & Mark Weible
November 1-3 RENOVATE National Church Revitalization Conference (Aloma Church)
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Saturate Orlando: Reaching the Entire City With Multiplying Disciples, Leaders and Churches “…therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Everywhere I went, I found people who had a similar vision. I met people who understood the strategic importance of reaching Orlando for the sake of global evangelization. I discovered that we shared a common vision for not only reaching this city that draws nearly 70 million visitors a year, but also we saw the potential for reaching the world from Orlando.
So, how can your church take the gospel to every person in your community? Well, it starts with reading scripture and gleaning from it what God wants to do in your neighborhood, community, city and region. Next, you have to pray. I remember asking God, “Do you really want every person in Orlando to hear the gospel?” Ask God to give you a vision for reaching your city. Ask Him to show you what it will look like when the vision is completed. Share the vision with everyone everywhere and by every means. Take note of people who buy-in to the vision and be prepared to work with them. Be open to surprises - don’t expect God to do it in your way and on your timetable. Believe that God wants to do it and that He will do it through you and your church.
From Vision to Reality Now, we are seeing God answering our prayers for workers for the harvest. We are seeing people step up who have the resources to fund a regional outreach campaign. Many of the financial backers of Saturate Orlando live outside of Florida, but they have a heart for reaching this area. We’ve had people come from all over the United States and Canada to help us go door to door with the Jesus film and gospel tracts. We are seeing churches working together across denominational lines to develop strategic alliances for gospel advancement. If not every person, at least every household will encounter the gospel this year in Orlando.
Bringing it Home The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient 28
Saturate Orlando for the Sake of the Lost People without Christ are lost and hurting. Jesus saw them and recognized that they are…
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.(Matthew 9:36) After another mass shooting affected one of our schools in Florida, the pain and anguish caused many to search for answers.
The day before the start of Saturate Orlando, several national television networks broadcast Billy Graham’s funeral live. When Billy Graham passed away, the world was reminded of what he stood for and what he preached – the gospel of Jesus Christ. A whole new generation that was not familiar with Dr. Graham and the simple gospel message that he preached was exposed to the gospel through the media. Even Time magazine had a special edition honoring Billy Graham that was sold in grocery store check-out lines. I believe that God used Billy Graham’s death in much the same way that He used his life – to help get the message of the gospel out to millions of people. As volunteers from local churches started going door to door on March 3rd, many of them reported that they encountered people who were very receptive to the gospel. Even though the Saturate Orlando strategy was to leave evangelistic materials at each door without actually knocking on the doors, several of the volunteers reported personal
encounters with people in their front yard or driveway. One team sent in individual pictures of ten different people who were led to Christ in front of their homes. They attributed the openness toward the gospel to prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit that preceded them. It appears that the time is right to take the gospel to hurting people in our communities. People are looking for answers to life’s questions and they are getting a sense that Jesus is the one who has those answers.
Multiplying Churches with Mark Weible
We know that Jesus is always the answer and we need to do a better job getting the Word out for the sake of the lost and for the glory of God. The gospel presented in dramatic form as in the Jesus Film gives hope to the millions who have watched it. Helpless people need help coming to Jesus and sometimes a simple gesture from a caring neighbor is all that they need to take the first step toward following Christ.
Find out more about Saturate Orlando and view the progress at www.SaturateOrlando.com
Rev. Mark Weible
serves the Greater Orlando Baptist Association as the Church Planting Director. He joined the GOBA team in 2002. Mark co-leads the GOAL Leadership training besides serving as our Web architect. Mark serves as the Directional Leader of ReproducingChurches.com.
Greater Orlando Baptist Association 148th Annual
CELEBRATION Sunday October 14th, 2018 Free Dinner
FBC Winter Park
1021 N New York Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 Evening Schedule
5 - 6 PM Family Picnic 5:30 - 8 PM Kids Fun Night 6 - 8 PM Youth Rally 6 - 8 PM Celebration
In Central Florida Mark DeYmaz Cam Triggs Mark is the founding pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church where significant percentages of Black and White Americans, together with men and women from more than 30 nations, walk, work and worship God together as one.
R S V P by 10.8.18
Cam is the lead pastor of Grace Journey Alive Church. His multi-ethnic church plant serves as a movement for all people to discover who they are in Christ â€“ 18% of people in Orlando are foreign born, so it is a strategic location to reach the nations.