It’s time to take care. I know you mean well and you are working hard, but it is time to take care. So first, it’s time to care of your people. I don’t mean the overall congregation or larger capital C Church body, I mean your people. The day in day out people who are giving their entire life to keep the church going (both paid and unpaid). Let’s stop abusing the ones who are giving up everything on your behalf. Can we be real that sometimes working at church is like finding out how the sausage is made? When you work for a church you really meet that contrast between the brokenness of sinful, fallen people and the idea that as Christians we should be set apart and different. The problem is that sometimes these meet each other in a painful way. Rather than being open and honest about the imperfections, there is this superiority and hypocrisy that can happen. Sometimes there are people, the people being served, who decide that they know the best or that God has called them to speak out against those who are serving. There are just so many opportunities for these servants to be raked across the coals. They will not be perfect, they will mess up, they will burn out, so take care. Check in, get to the heart, give back, take care of your people. Love deeply, speak graciously, take care. Don’t let these people pour and pour and pour, without refilling. Even your volunteers – speak kindly, give back, take care.
Second, take care of your image. This sounds crazy shallow, but at the same time your image is the image of Christ. Stop throwing out your words without thinking through the implications, start loving unconditionally. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Let go of grudges. Love those who fly in the face of everything you believe in. In fact, go crazy, let them in. Let them feel welcomed into the church. You don’t have to tell them they are correct in their sin, you can stand on that issue and still love them deeply. Remember that the name of Christ is branded, whether implicitly or explicitly, on everything you do. So, live like He lived, and care like He cared.
Dear, church. Take care.