1 Corinthians 1:10-16
"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been report to me by Cloes people that there is quarreling among you brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas [Peter]," or "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also teh household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lset the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." (ESV)
I'm not going to take the time to completely paraphrase this passage as I have been, but I will say this. Paul was upset that people in the church were divided on whom they should follow. Apparently there were Christians who had come into contact with such great people as Paul, Peter and Apollos. Paul points out that none of these men did what Jesus did, that is none of them were crucified for the sins of the world. He appeals to them to be united in the same mind and the same judgement.
What is God saying?
It is far to easy to get wrapped up in people's personalities especially when it comes to church. The saving message of Jesus Christ is the most important message anyone will ever hear. It is almost understandable how a person can view the messenger just as important as the message. This particularly applies to churches. A church is supposed to be centered on Christ and yet too many times, withou the knowledge of people in the church, it becomes centered around one personality and usually that personality is the pastor. People forget the reason why they come to church. This becomes abundantly clear when there is a change in pastorate. Many people exit from the church because they have forgotten what the focus of church is.
What is God saying to me?
Two things. First, I am just as susceptible in getting caught up in the personality of the pastor like anyone else. I need to make sure that my focus in on God and not the pastor. I will be honest. The transition that we have gone through at KCC has not been the most easy for me. I have been tempted to lose sight of why I am really here because I too was a little caught up in the personality of our previous pastor.
Second, I have bitterness towards those who have left our church for the wrong reasons. I need to get over it. None of us are perfect. All of us are immature in our spiritual walk in one way or the other. I need to pray for those who have left leaving them in God's hand and move forward with what God has planned for us who are still at KCC.
I might have partially answered the question of application in the previous section, but I will state it plainly and simple here. I need to keep my eyes focused on God and never let them stray to the servant of God who is the head of our church. I also need to pray for those who have left our church for the wrong reasons.
Father, you know my heart. I am as human as they come, and I am in need of your constant guidance. May I be a support to my pastor as we team together to do your will. May we both be able to convey the message that it isn't we the servants people should be following but you. We are all a team and we need to be of "the same mind." If there are those in our congregation who are still struggling with the fact that Walt left please put their minds to ease by showing them that the focus really needs to be on you. Thank you for your love. You are awesome. Amen.