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The Church Should Be a Hospital

We are called to be a place of healing, not a place of hurt.

I believe that at all times we must seek to advance God's kingdom. However, we must recognize when we are not in a healthy position to minister. During those times, we need to sit and allow others to minister to us. We need others to lead us to a place of healing first, before we can adequately minister to others in need.

We need nurses to "nurse" the hurting back to health. We need certified "doctors" to diagnose illnesses and to administer the healing power of the Holy Word. We need "surgeons" who can reach deep down inside the soul to cut away the layers of bitterness, anger, depression, addiction, and loneliness. We need "paramedics" who rescue people off the street and rush them to the Lord, the one who can put them back together again. It is my prayer that the house of God will become a hospital: a place where someone can be loved back to life with the love of God. I pray that the church will be a place of healing and not a place of hurt.

How Do We Create a Healthy Place?

The local church can create this place by appointing leaders who are qualified to lead. These leaders should also be held accountable for the lifestyles they live. Leaders should step down if they are struggling with habitual sin in order to be delivered, healed, and restored. I envision a healthy local church where the hurting could receive acceptance and counseling. I long for a place where people can be mentored by godly leaders and loved by brothers and sisters in the faith. This can happen only if we are intentional in following the Bible when determining who is qualified to be a trusted and competent leader. This can happen only if some churches transition from being exclusive social clubs with injured leaders to premier, innovative hospitals with godly, noble, and blameless doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

How do we get there? I believe we must first acknowledge that we are either healing or hurting people. Jesus healed the entire person, and it is our duty to walk as Jesus did. The way we treat each other and those outside the church impacts our witness to the world, whether we realize it or not. For the sake of the church and our witness, we need to get busy healing–not hurting people.

We need leaders to uplift the body of Christ. We long for our leaders to empower individuals, not take away their power. We can look at Matthew 18 as a guide to resolving abusive behavior in the church. If you are a member of the congregation and you know that a leader is hurting the sheep, you should first speak with that leader one on one. You should approach that leader only if it is safe to do so. Never place yourself in danger. When you speak with the leader you should express your care for the individual. You should also express to the leader your care, concern, and commitment to the church and ministry. You should stick to the facts and avoid personal attacks. You should raise your concerns one by one and offer suggestions to help this individual. If the leader needs to go to counseling, a drug treatment program, or mental health counseling, say so. You should request that he or she receive the specific treatment needed in order to become healthy again.

June05, 2014 at 8:00 AM

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