This morning, I had coffee with a colleague who leads another church. He has a servant heart and is not a 'power-freak'. But sadly there are those in that church who oppose any kind of ministry that upsets the status quo. It seems that too many people want a comfortable religion that will be there for them when they need it, but isn't too outward looking. This man is a lovely person, but he and his family have slowly been ground down by the opposition, back-biting and lack of support. I believe that the Lord may well be calling them to 'shake the dust off their feet', and move on. I have several friends in different parts of the country who are facing almost exactly the same circumstances.
The sad thing is, I suspect that these churches have very little future. When the current membership has died-off, that will be it. Many churches face that kind of short and bleak existence. For them, religion and legalism is more important than getting the transforming message of the Gospel out.
It's desperately sad that so many churches are not open to the transforming power of the Gospel. They might be open to changing what the church believes in order to accommodate the culture around them, but ask them to change how they do church for the same reason and they can't handle it. They end up with mere religion.
Have mercy on all those that lead churches.
Give them grace to serve Your people
with humility and perseverance.
Protect their families from evil
and grant them time for joy together.
May their churches allow them to lead,
and support them in need,
that together the Good News of Jesus Christ
might be proclaimed in word and deed.