Armstrong is a friend and leader in the Church He serves whenever there is a need. The only problem is that he is temperamental, unpredictable and moody. We tiptoe around him. I pray and hope for the best.
Today I no longer pray and hope for the best. Each of the above scenarios required a level of discipleship that went beyond a skin-deep, superficial quick fix. They each later submitted to a scalpel by taking a serious, prayerful look at the deeper issues I will outline in this book. First, however, I as a leader had to undergo a revolution in the way I understood and approached discipleship.
The sad truth is that too little difference exists, in terms of emotional and relational maturity, between God’s people inside the church and those outside who claim no relationship to Jesus Christ. Even more alarming, when you go beyond the praise and worship of our large meetings and conventions and into the homes and small-group meetings of God’s people you often find a valley littered with broken and failed relationships.
Do any of the following people remind you of someone in your church?
- The board member who never says “I was wrong” or “Sorry”
- The children’s church leader who constantly criticises others.
- The high-control small-group leader who cannot tolerate different points of view.
- The middle-aged father of two toddlers who is secretly addicted to pornography.
- The thirty-five year old husband busily serving in the church, unaware of his wife’s loneliness at home.
- The worship leader who interprets any suggestion as a personal attack and personal rejection.
- The Sunday School teacher struggling with feeling of bitterness and resentment towards the pastor but afraid to say anything.
- The exemplary “servant” who tirelessly volunteers in four different ministries but rarely takes any personal time to take care of himself or herself.
- Two intercessors who use prayer meetings to escape from the painful reality of their marriage
- The people in your small group who are never transparent about their struggles or difficulties.