With the best of intentions, we can reinforce behaviors and patterns in people that do much more harm than good.
For example . . .
When a church allows people to “over-volunteer” — you know, the ones who are there before the church doors are even open — it enables them to avoid life at home. Some people wrap themselves up in church activities so they don’t have to deal with unpleasant situations or relationships in the family.
When a church tolerates continual bad behavior — you know, people who serve on committees and get their way through sheer volume of voice or force of personality — it enables the very behavior the Scriptures condemn. In keeping the peace, churches perpetuate war.
When a church relies more on charity than the ministry of life development — you know, agreeing to pay for somone stay at a local motel simply to get them out of the office — it enables a dependency mindset in the ones asking for help. Next up on my non-fiction reading list: Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton. Can’t wait.
When a church has low standards for involvement — you know, “we’re so glad you’re adding to our worship attendance total that it doesn’t bother us you haven’t cracked open a bible in seven years” — it enables the kind of spiritual complacency it claims to combat.
Gee. All that sounds a bit like this church.
Does it sound like yours?