Church Direction: Will of Man or Will of God?

The direction of the church is a sensitive topic. If 100 people attend, you have at least 100 different opinions about how the church should function. Should it have pews or chairs? Stained glass? Contemporary, traditional, or blended music? Sunday School or small groups? Then comes the bigger schism – should the direction be set by committees, the congregation at large, or the pastor? I can already sense the steam rising with some of you who are reading this. While God should be setting the direction for His people to follow, this is not always the case.

This post is sparked by a church that recently exercised its will over God’s. The church has a history of heartless tradition funded by old money. After years of a pastor who pacified the people, it voted to be ushered into a new era. With lip service, they vocalized their desire for change. When change arrived, it was resisted to the point it decided to vote out one of its staff members.

This story is all too common. The worship of Christ is tossed aside over a preference to go through the motions that have been done for years. The commission of Christ is ignored for the “let’s-hire-somebody-to-do-what-we-are-commanded-to-do-then-complain-about-it-and-exercise-our-lame-committee-authority-to-go-back-to-business-as-usual” mentality. Too often (considering once is too often), I see this over and over again. I gets the calls and the messages for prayer from the ones who gave their lives to answer the call of God, only to be slapped in the face by those who profess to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This must end!

The will of man is ruining a lot of churches. It is being exercised by pastors and church members alike. It is so much easier to exercise than taking the biblical method of seeking the Scriptures and praying for the Holy Spirit to reveal the specific plan of God for HIS church.

To those who have been wounded by the will of man, I weep with you. I have been one of the wounded because senior leadership wanted “better” or “the powers that be” couldn’t stand that Jesus was going to call the shots and they did not like the fact that I was going to execute God’s will.

To those who love the power, please repent! Christ didn’t die so you could vote down progress in your church. The will of man has deterred many souls from being saved. I would hate to think my disobedience kept someone from walking in God’s will.

By nature, we are selfish people. Choosing our will is easy. Discerning and implementing God’s will is tough. The bottom line is we will have to answer to God for our choices. Let’s be guilty of striving to do God’s will no matter the resistance.

11 responses to “Church Direction: Will of Man or Will of God?”

  1. I love this post and the poignant way you point out just one of the many failings of the modern day church. I ponder how you can talk to people and tell them that they are at church for their love of power versus their love of God. So many people hold their faith to be their protector against bad behavior that it actually blinds them to the reality before them that they are in fact walking apart from God.

    How does one gently bring about an awakening of the fallen faithbound without provoking loud and angry and negative responses?

    I personally have tried poking that bear in a church setting and had very negative results. I guess I have found that there is more God to be found when two or three gather with revered love of the Divine than when a whole congregation of church people get together to fight about God and go through the motions of what faith looks like in the modern world. Faithful Fervor before Petty Pretenders.

    Because I wonder, how sad would Christ be to know how many differentiations there are amongst his believers – how divided we stand in the Kingdom of Christ even among the same Holy Book.

    Aren’t we all here for the same thing? What happened to following Christ? When did so many words, and rituals, and material trappings get in the way of bowing down in humble service to a man that was willing to do what none of us are easily willing to do – which is lay down our will in service to a higher power?

    So often we get lost in our own personal quest for power that we call it for God and then pat ourselves on the back for doing a great job. Seeking fame and fortune for the Kingdom of God is still serving man before God even with all the Holy Books and rituals there are. Without proper faith and humble subservience, everything else just becomes a dog and pony show to generate revenue and keep the building of God running like a business. Who needs more businesses in a world where everyone wants to be a mega-corporation?

    I’ll stick to God and Jesus, the original Content Creators that didn’t charge a dime to give their way to the world.

    And I will sit and watch with sad eyes as people who say they are of God continue to reap massive profits that they then do not share for the betterment of society. Shaking my head knowing, the faithbound are moving farther and farther from God and taking their materialistic lives with them as they go. Praying for their betterment and return to the fold, knowing that only the End Times are going to awaken them from the deafness and blindness that has overcome their spiritual journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. History shows us that the church has had an ebb and flow of domination either by priests/pastors who chose to interpret Scripture for the people or an expectation for people to receive what they want. We are far from what Jesus set forth in the New Testament. When churches begin to model that more, the greatest resistance often comes from those who call themselves Christians.

      You are right about people getting angry when you expose these things. I have had people get defensive and lash out at me in blog post comments and tweets when I hit a nerve. Our fallen nature does not receive the truth well, but Jesus did say the truth shall make you free.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Reading your words literally gave me chills and has the hairs standing on end all over my body. You speak much truth and with the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is touching to experience the wonder through the internet.

        Specifically the chills came when I read, “The Truth shall make you free.” That is what we are working for in these very difficult times. We have the truth. We know it with our souls.

        And yet the modern world works against what we know to lead us into believing something that is less than what we should and takes us further from Christ’s Loving Way.

        Because I think of those people that got negative with you in their offense – how Christly is their reaction to your expression of your own Truth? Did Christ ever lash out at another for speaking their truths? No of course not, he was the “turn the other cheek” guy.

        So I wonder how much reconciling goes on in the minds and hearts and souls of those professing their faith in Christ and then going about acting completely against how a follower of Christ should hold themselves. How Christly does a follower of Christ need to hold himself to be?

        Is it really the truth that you get to say you love Christ and Christ has saved you and then you get to go about acting like an unholy terror in defense of the kindest man the world has ever known? That just doesn’t feel right in my book.

        God and Jesus wouldn’t want us bickering and fighting amongst each other over who is right, I think he’d rather we lean against one another in the harshness of life, knowing that we are stronger together, and together there is more love to be shared among brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God and Christ. And with more love, what can’t we accomplish?

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, I absolutely agree!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Matthew Winters (Honest Thoughts from a Pastor) and commented:
    The will of man can destroy something quickly. God’s way is always best, but the selfishness of man is quick to resist it, especially in the church where God’s will should be the only thing happening.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on All You Need is Jesus and commented:
    LOVE this post! Powerful and definitely worth the read! Give you a lot to think about!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Leigh!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh absolutely! You really hit close to home. Our church is going through something very similar and it’s really hurting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I pray for your church often.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you. We appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Matthew, this was very good. I agree. The church needs to shed the bondage of business role models and it needs to return to Christ as her only head and to the scriptures in place of marketing books.

    Liked by 2 people

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