Summary: Ministry can be messy, but Jesus can be glorified in us. Church conflict is inevitable. In the conflict we must look for God’s power.
I have used www.sermoncentral along with several other resources in this message.
DEALING WITH THE MESS OF MINISTRY
October 21, 2007 Jay Davis Robison 1 PETER 3:8-12
Today our church honors support staff
Often in the background but essential to who we are
Often times clean up messes
Office managers quarterbacks who answer phones calm people down
Keep youth sleepover, away from the wedding can be a mess
Building managers clean up after the rest of us, a mess
Preschool directors have dealt messes we all made in diapers
At Trinity we believe no MESS no MINISTRY
What we do for the Lord will often be messy because people messy
Book of 1 Peter talking about r-ships in community and family,
3:8-12 deals with r-ships in church, church was facing persecution
from society around hostile but also division in the church
Sometimes we assume no conflict in church ideally no
But we are about real life…people have strong opinions\ agendas
Look at Peter’s approach for Dealing with the mess of ministry
1. A PICTURE OF GOD’S FAMILY
Peter raises the ideal, what should the church be like?
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one
another; love as brothers (and sisters), be tenderhearted,
be courteous Vs8 NKJV
One mind=harmony does not mean always agree
But means we keep the main purpose serving Christ 1st
our agenda second if that is our focus overcome any differences
Have compassion=Empathize w\one another, bear the same emotions
Sharing of pain and joy all the life stuff we face can be messy
Display the power, love, and compassion of Christ.
Who have you helped this week bear a burden? In church or out
Bear one another’s burdens, & so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).
Tenderhearted=word that pictured a well of emotion bursting forth
from your gut. to be moved w\tender feelings toward others.
Arms open tenderhearted vs. arms crossed and closed
Courteous-common respect for others and their feelings
Think of how many people in and out here each week
Work together, cannot be selfish & aloof; or demand own way.
God’s family is to be A COMMUNITY
Temptation of thinking better than someone else superior
When world looks at believers, should see most unusual unity,
a spirit of oneness that is not found anyplace else on earth.
Should see believers who are so unified & closely knit together they
support each through all the trials & temptations of life.
Sometimes world sees bickering complaining grumbling division
limerick: There once were two cats of Killkenny.
Each thought there was one cat too many.
They fought and they spit, they clawed and they bit,
till instead of two cats there weren’t any!
Community is nurtured love, love is the offering of one’s
most honest self through honest self-disclosure J Powell
In order to impact the world we must DEMONSTRATE LOVE
Says to this you were called testimony of God to world If church is going to have an impact on world, must demonstrate to world the reality of its faith. Only do that when Christian virtues are lived out daily by members of the Body of Christ
Do we really LOVE LIKE CHRIST?
In bible love is always an action word, not simply a feeling.
If we say we love, & don’t show it, we really don’t love.
Doesn’t mean we don’t speak truth in love hold people accountable,
Are there tangible demonstrations of your love of others at TBC?
Do you call & check on them when they are out?
Do you pray for them when they going through difficult times? I don’t bother them, they don’t bother me. Things are much better that way. No, this is not acting in love.
2. The PRESENCE OF CONFLICT
Then how do we deal w\those who do us wrong, in world or church When we are under threat, how do we deal with it?
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult Vs 9 a TNIV
Natural response to hostility is retaliation!
Jesus taught love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you
Respond to hostility with grace.
Besides if you do evil or insult me and I respond
It escalates and we will be at each other’s throats
Peter says stop the madness
Nothing tests your maturity LIKE CONFLICT
Conflict: marriage, children, work, neighbor-hood, and church
The difference between spiritual and unspiritual community is not whether conflict exists, but is rather in our attitude toward it and our approach to handling it. Larry Crabb The Safest Place on Earth p. 40.
On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. VS 9b TNIV
When you sling mud you lose ground.
To this you were called
We are called to BLESS