Grumbling and complaining are cancers in a fellowship.
They undercut joy, destroy unity and fill us with self-righteousness. They hide the light of Christ from both ourselves and those who know us.
A church planter or a pastor needs to root them out like a skilled surgeon. Unlike a surgeon however, the preacher needs to start in his own heart. He needs to be ruthless in cutting out the disease at the first sign of symptoms. There can be no debate. He has to get out his knife and cut. The sword of the Lord is the tool he needs.
What might be the ingredients that create the first symptoms?
- A disappointment in someone’s failed promise.
- A inability to move forward with some plan because of a lack of funds.
- A spirit of competition with news that another church is growing faster.
- A congregation member who takes a message as a personal affront.
- A worship set isn’t just so.
- A program is stalled because old entrenched ideas about ministry.
- A furnace breaks down at just the wrong moment.
- A critical comment is made about a message.
- A wandering disciple demands more time than you think warranted.
- An elder or deacon seems un-discerning and needlessly obstructive
Any or any combination of these or a thousand others could be the insipid beginning of a spirit of complaint and grumbling. Cut them out brother. Take the word of God in your hand and put the words of confession on your lips and seek Christ as your only hope. Root it out in yourself so that you gain the wisdom to help the people of God do the same in theirs.
If you don’t, if you fail, your church will eventually tear itself apart with grumbling and strife and complaining. That will be a scandal upon the cause of Christ.
The good news? It can all be avoided if we root out the spirit of grumbling and complaint.