The Difference an Hour Makes
Attending Sunday services off and on with her husband Ruby usually sat thinking how foolish the people sitting around were for believing this God stuff. However, she liked the messages enough to keep coming back because they were helpful in providing practical life tips. On one particular Sunday, by the end of the service, she found herself irresistibly drawn to fully say yes to Jesus. Surprisingly, she was baptized that day. She will cry telling you the story because it still blows her mind how intellectually against God she was in one moment only to be convinced of its truth in the same hour.
Ruby loves Jesus. There is no doubt about this. She has given her heart, life and soul into loving him the last two years. When I got the call from Ruby about her Friday night ‘drinks’ it was from a place of confession and repentance. She didn’t want to respond to the pressures in her life by getting drunk. But she did. She was sorrowful, ashamed and seeking support to help with her group situation. She told her husband about it and prayed with him. She told me about it and prayed with me.
As a church on mission to love the un-churched we have to make a choice to love and lead our leaders through growing up in the faith. For those that have been loved much they have great love for others. We need to release people to lead our church communities, like Small Groups, knowing they are not perfect but that they are in process. They can create a community of love, growth and discipleship—even though they are still growing through brokenness in their own lives.
Progress not Perfection
If you have a close and trusting relationship with your church leaders they will be authentic with you about their leadership struggles. This should be the goal of your engagement with emerging leadership in church…not expecting perfection, but rather expecting authentic relationships for making progress.
Do you have similar Small Group leadership stories? What are ways you have handled these situations? What is the role of church discipline or the removal of a leader in these circumstances