Focus: 2 Cor 10
The Apostles found it difficult to manage the growing Church from a distance. Unscrupulous actors, motivated by pride, power, and greed, would take advantage of the distanced and infrequency of the apostolic visitation. The Apostles would first have to hear about the saint's sinful deeds and then they would have to respond by sending a letter based on trusting those to travel great distances to deliver them! NO email, voice mail, or pony Express! You would wonder, how could such a Church grow? God! We would think that it would be easier to manage God's people today with the speed of news riding the wings of technology! That answer would be, No! The methods of these same ill-motivated people have transformed but their motivations are still the same. They spew vile venom from their hearts without the shread of decency and decorum while hiding behind their recipients' lack of presence due to the internet! Paul in his missives (letters) appealed to their followers to heed that which they had been taught from the beginning. Others far away accused Apostles of being hypocrites- writing harshly what they wanted when not physically present but avoiding confrontation in person. This type of sin has increased, not decreased, with the heightened level of technology that we enjoy today. So how can we as leaders help those we serve when faced with Satan's backbiting and deceptions and the unvarnished rudeness from those hiding behind their screens? In many ways, we find it much easier when we correct "our" mindset to what WE were taught when we first believed! First we stop trying to control people's lives and just teach them God's Truth. We, as leaders, are only responsible for what we say, teach and do, NOT for the results within or among others! Even if we lived in the houses of the saints of God every day, we can ONLY plant and water. It is ONLY God that can give an increase (change). Next we should only write what we are willing to say face to face. Speak God's truth boldly, but use decency and decorum to share God's Truth in Love. Love In The WORD Church is based on home churches scattered around the world with its recipients solely responsible for their own faith and actions. We treat our followers as a family of equal ministers of the Gospel responsibke for their own homes and lives and not as subordinates for which we are sole responsible. We act like parents of "grown adults" and not like Kings lording over our kingdom! Our daily preaching "are" daily missives that direct God's people, but we do it with love. We allow others to govern themselves since they will only be judged by their own sin. Pastors and church administrators are guides and through relationships, God's points of accountability. This is why we are ALL ministers! Some of us have just been anointed to Care for His creation as a vocation, as well as an avocation! The Church is changing because the world is changing. Let us focus more on guiding and teaching God's WORD and less on building fiefdoms and shrines to ourselves. Amen.