Assets or Alligatiors?

Devotional thought of the Day:

St. Paul wrote:

 God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. 7 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! 8 The variety is wonderful: wise counsel clear understanding   1 Corinthians 12:6-8 (MSG)

He then goes on to describe a small list of the gifts the Holy Spirit uses in us, to be a blessing to our congregations, our communities and each other – and indeed the gifts are wonderful, and practical, even the ones that… hmmm… take a while to appreciate.

There are books out there, that advise church leaders on how to deal with “well-intentioned alligators”.  The people that eat up our time, and often – our patience.   They can cause a church to struggle as well – not just the leadership – and the age old question is, how do we handle them?

Some advise getting rid of them, for the sake of the others, for the peace of the church.

Some advise doing exorcisms, (just joking.. well.. sorta) Some would protect their pastors from them, much as a executive secretary deals  with those who would bother a CEO.   There are a myriad of options, including tolerating the behavior, or at least no confronting them   There may be another option, consider these words…

“Never say of anyboy under you he is no good, for it s you are are no good as you cannot find a place where he will be of use…”   (Escriva, The Furrow)

Here is a challenge for all who are pastors, or who assist pastors with pastoral leadership (elders, deacons, deaconesses, etc).  Those alligators have a purpose (even if it is to be thorns in the flesh!) and it is a challenge to find the right place.  Rarely, as frustrations set in, that might mean bringing them to some other shepherd for pastoral care – that they can serve and be served.  But there is a place for everyone in God’s church, and yes, it is the responsibility of leadership – not the individual, to help guide them into that ministry.

In other words – alligators are assets. They can be blessings, they can be an integral part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church (note no caps there).  They are, like us, people who God has worked on, and is working on, just as He is us.  See them from that perspective first…

and know you walk with God, even as you strive with Him, and with men.

Lord Have mercy, and may that mercy include empowering us to show mercy as well!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 9, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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