Every Friday morning I meet with a group other pastors from my town: a Lutheran, a Baptist, a Quaker and another Pentecostal. We gather at a local coffee shop and talk, share stories, encourage one another, learn how the others are handling situations similar to our own and, over time, become friends. This friendship has led to my inviting some of these pastors to fill in when I am out of town and my going to their church to do the same.
During our conversations I’ve learned how powerless we all feel in helping some people. It seems no matter what we do for some folks, what we have to offer isn’t what they are looking for and so they go off to another church or another pastor to get what they need. We’ve all watched as people have left our church to go to another church where they find a place that brings them the peace and comfort they need. I’ve watched as people have left churches I’ve been involved with begin the true process of healing by joining another fellowship. And that is okay. My philosophy is that they haven’t left the Kingdom of God when they go to another church; they are just found fellowship in another part of the one Body of Christ. Furthermore, because I’m friends with some of these other pastors, I don’t look at them as competitors in the Kingdom but as companions along the Way. So if someone can grow better in Christ by planting themselves in another fellowship, then I am glad for them.
The lesson I am taking away from this observation is simple, and that is I am learning to be at ease with the fact that some people’s hurt is beyond my ability to help. I was a long time in coming to that conclusion, but I know I am right. Continue Reading