The Middle Seat (3 of 4) by James Merritt
This content is part of a series.The Middle Seat (3 of 4)
Series: Lost Baggage
1 Corinthians 5
1. As a pastor, there are some phone calls that you never want to receive. The worst of all, I believe, are those revealing a significant sin of a church member or a staff member. In these cases, as a leader in the church, I want our members and staff to set a high example with their character, so failure in that area is especially difficult. You can remove a person from a position of leadership, but frankly, when people sin, and this will happen in even the most spiritually mature and positive environment, the damage is done.
2. So what do you do when you get that call? A member has had an affair? A staff person has behaved unethically? A deacon has lied to his family? The problem is the same. Leadership in the church living in unrepentant, unconfused sin.
3. In these cases, we must follow scripture to the tee. I confront both parties privately. If leadership is involved the sin is brought before the church. If the parties profess faith in Christ, we offer forgiveness, and a process of restoration. Whether this is accepted or rejected by the parties, we have acted properly in our role as church leaders. Now this is all hypothetical, but in a room this size I am sure many of you have had experience with sin in the church. Sometimes it is handled biblically and unfortuntely sometimes it is not.
4. Now, when you hear my thoughts on what might happen-confrontation, discipline, a restoration process-some of you in this room may get red hot. Perhaps you want to tell me something about how I might handle those calls. You might say, ''You ever heard of grace?'', ''Where is your sense of mercy?'', ''What about forgiveness?'' and of course the all-time favorite, ''Who are you to judge?''
5. May I tell you something that was very interesting? Some of the people who would be livid that I would take a leader to task over sin in the church will be the very same people ...
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