Friday, April 19, 2013

Politics in Ministry

This post has nothing to do with church and state. It has to do with the "political games" played in ministry.

Ryan, my youth director, and I are going through a book called "Sustainable Youth Ministry" by Mark Devries. In the first chapter he talks about youth ministers who claim they don't play the "political game" that in truth is an excuse not to get along with others. Mark points out the that "etymological cousin" of the word is polite, and redefines "playing politics" as doing the polite thing.

I got to thinking about this. The politics in church, as with in any organization, has nothing to do with doing the polite thing, and yet when it comes to a group of Christ followers it should have everything to do with doing the polite thing. Too many Christian people get caught up doing the impolite things when playing politics: gossiping, talking about others or behind their backs, positioning oneself as the authority and yet never offering to help those who truly need the help to succeed, allowing negative thoughts toward a Christian brother/sister to fester into resentment which is used by Satan to disrupt the work of God through his people. How much more can God's people look like the world they have been called out of?!

As Kingdom Citizens we have the responsibility to do the polite thing. This doesn't mean we lie or skirt around issues. If that is how we interpret being polite then we have just fallen into another trap of the world. Being polite is being respectful. It is seeing others in the same light that God sees them. If we see them any differently then we have placed ourselves above God. In essence, we have committed sin.

Being polite is confronting issues with the understanding that none of us are perfect.  Being polite has the goal of working together to accomplish God's will. It is getting along with one another. How did Jesus ask us to do this? He said "Love one another as I have loved you."

Kingman Christian Church is no exception to the rule. I believe the Bible is clear. If you are playing politics the same way the world plays them than you are in sin. Plain and simple. You are not treating others as Jesus treats you. You are acting as if you are better than Jesus. There is no excuse to not do the "polite thing." If you find yourself playing the politics of the world in church ministry (or the rest of life for that matter) then I encourage you to change course. Let us not give Satan victory. Instead, let us show Satan how much greater God is!

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