3. I have a right…
The Christian faith is about the grace and mercy of God. We thank God He does not give us what we deserve. Faithful believers show the same kind of dedication and love to one another. But at no point is a child of God to insist on his rights.
If we got what we deserve, we would all be in hell.
4. I’m not one to gossip, but…
That’s always the prelude to gossip.
When I was a young pastor, one lady in the church would confide, “Now, I know you would want to know…” It was her way of passing along gossip.
Stifling the urge to pass along the latest trash on someone in the church is one of the hardest skills to acquire. Only the mature can pull it off.
5. Now, I’m not saying who, but some people are unhappy about…
Anonymous criticism is one of the most cowardly things ever concocted in hell. When the pastor asks, “Who exactly is this you say is unhappy?” his critic answers, “Well, I’m not at liberty to say.” (At that point, the preacher should then get up and show his visitor the door. “This conversation is over, friend.” And if they don’t leave, the pastor should.)
Lay leaders should teach the membership never ever to bring anonymous criticism to them or to their ministers.
6. I gave the money for that, so I’ll make the decision as to how it’s to be used.
Once our gifts are in the offering plate, they belong to the Lord and His church. The donor relinquishes all control and is entitled to nothing as a result. (Even the IRS agrees with that. Money given to a mission program or to benevolence cannot be dictated by the donor. Church procedure decides how it will be used.)
7. Sorry. I don’t have a gift for that.
Every believer can serve in a hundred ways, whether we are “gifted” in a particular area or not. No one requires a specific anointing of God to share their faith or make a gift or pray a prayer or teach a class.
8. Why don’t “they” do something?
A friend says three groups of people can be found in every congregation. There are consumers: “Just browsing.” There are customers: “We come to this church because of the music program” (or children’s, missions, Bible teaching, etc). If you cancel that program, they leave. And there are the shareholders: Announce a work day and these are the ones who show up. You build a church with the shareholders, not with the other two groups, although most of the latter were one of the former previously.