Do you Build or Destroy? – Part 2
Chopo Mwanza is the pastor of Faith Baptist Church Riverside in Kitwe, Zambia and this week I’ve been reading and thinking over two relating articles that he has written about people who go to church. I found both articles helpful and so I thought I’d summarise them here.
The title of the second article was “4 Members Who Tear Down the Church” but actually, it’s more about how each member can build destroy what God is building. Sadly we’ve had all of these in our church so this is quite applicable to us. Our role, of course, is to exhort those we think are any other these … indeed, if there is anything in ourselves that leans towards these, we need to confront in love and gentleness. Here are the four things:
1. Armchair Critic
- Here’s what Chopo says: “These days, cynicism seems cool. In a world dominated by social media and self-expression, cynicism is easily mistaken for wisdom and enlightenment. In Christian circles, people build entire ministries on cynicism; their purpose is to tell you what’s wrong with everyone else. And in our self-deception, we manage to veil our critical spirits as wisdom.” I’ve written about the dangers of self-professed discernment ministries in the past and certainly, they have their place but the danger, of course, is that we sit in our armchairs with a spirit to find fault in what others are doing, without addressing the faults in ourselves. Sadly armchair critics don’t often listen to reason because they are acting out of fear and pride – that’s a bad combination! This is why Chopo says “Cynics can never be pleased nor satisfied, more often than not, cynicism hides the wounds of bitterness and even hatred. This type of member can destroy the unity and joy of the church.”
Please, be a critic who is involved in the life of the church, prays regular for your leaders, and engages in debate.
- This is really the flip side of the previous post found here. Chopo writes: “It’s amazing how many people are eager to be “members” of a local church without also being eager to faithfully attend.” True and sad. Granted, there are some valid reasons for not attending but let’s not turn reasons into excuses. Chopo writes with boldness when he states “Non-attending members are an oxymoron. They don’t want to serve and use their gifts to edify other believers, and by not attending they actually remove themselves from the platform where they can minister and be ministered to. Over time, they harm the unity and mission of the church.”
See you tomorrow?
- I have a lot to say about this but only a few sentences in which to do it. Chopo writes well when he states that “divisive people are often driven by a desire to be in charge. They want their opinions heard and implemented’ … The ironic thing about people with a divisive spirit is that they sometimes have a sincere concern about the church’s well-being.
Bring together, don’t seperate.
- Chopo writes that “meddlers often gossip. They’re in the business of gathering information about people and their affairs with the purpose of sharing it with others.” Sadly we have seen this in our church with some devastating consequences. They’ve even masked their meddling and gossip behind the care and concern for others when in actual fact all they want to do is gossip.
The full article can be read here.