Church Fractures

Over the past twenty four hours, I've had two pastor friends (from different states) tell me the same thing -- they're experiencing painful church fractures.

Both these guys are among the kindest and most loving men of God you'll ever meet. Yet, a few negative and narrow critics are trying to tear the work apart, threatening to leave, and badmouthing the leadership.

What is the terrible crime these pastors have committed??

Did they steal money from the coffers?? NO!!
Was there some kind of moral scandal?? NO!!
Are they neglecting the sick and hurting? NO!!
Are they guilty of prayerlessness? NO!!

Here's the reason my two dear ministry brethren are getting hammered: They have had the audacity to use new music and new methods to reach a new generation. (GASP!! God Forbid!!)

These guys are straight as an arrow in doctrine and in practice. They are respectful to those who hold differing opinions. They are not forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to do. (In both instances, the new music and methods are NOT happening at a time that directly effects those who are squawking.)

Yet, these faithful servants of God are being vilified as heretics. I think there's something terribly wrong with that scenario. I pray that God will give these dear pastors strength to endure the petty attacks, and to continue reaching out to the young people in their communities.

By the way, the situation would improve tremendously if the critics would stop running their pastors down, and start lifting them up in prayer. While they're at it, maybe they should throw in a prayer for the teenagers and the youth workers too.


Matthew Tietje said…
I hope it's not just us pastors who read your blog. There are a lot of churches & people who need to hear this. Carnality over such a trivial (yet kingdom impacting) matter is a church & a pastor killer. I'll be praying for these pastors and hoping that my fellow pastors will pray for me when I deal with similar situations!
Anonymous said…
I like the music at our church. BUT.....What happens in 16 years when my ears feel pain from strange sounds? or percussion? will I be tolerant? Will I pray through the pain ( physical.. not emotional)

Not adjusting to new music may be more physical than a matter of personal taste. It may have to do with an aging population.

Anonymous said…
perhaps they should perform their "new, & different" musical ideas, during youth meetings, and not inflict it on the elderly members who pay the salaries.????
We've moved because of similar happenings.
mark o wilson said…
In both these instances, it's not about physical pain, or forcing people to adjust worship styles. The new methods and music are happening in venues that the critics don't even attend. It is, instead, a philosphical matter -- and a conflict over whether or not unchurched young people are worth the extra mile.
ministering in dixie said…
Sounds like a power struggle with the old guard to me
Anonymous said…
40 years ago I was a teenager (and a member) in a church that offered the youth very little. I was learning to play the guitar and naively thought I might eventually play a song in church once in awhile...but soon learned that was out of the question. To this day, it remains mainly a congregation of older folks, with a nice building full of empty classrooms. And very quiet.
Anonymous said…
There seems to be a divide and lack of respect between the older people and the younger people.

What everyone needs is a class in diversity.

There needs to be a program put into effect that promotes interaction between the old and the new people. First for each other and then with each other.

The younger need to put together a program of old hymns to play for the older folk, and the older people need to learn and do a program with the newer music for the younger folk.

Maybe then some respect will develop between the two groups.
joe said…
So it is just music that causes the problem. I think NOT! That is just the 'line in the sand'.
Anonymous said…
What really bothers me is that you are only talking about a music preference. Generations need to compromise and have respect for each other. I agree with the previous anonymous, this issue is deeper than the type of music.

We also need to be worried about the lying, stealing, and immoral acts that are going on in some churches and no one will say anything because they are afraid of a "Church Fracture".
mbs said…
Is not each and every one of us worth the 'extra mile'?
Anonymous said…
It touches my heart that our church goes the extra mile.
Anonymous said…
We have 8 people in our praise band and they run from a 66 year old guitar player and voice (me) to a 16 year old drummer, and all ages in between. So far nobody has left because of the music that I know of. I hear good comments and bad but we just keep going because that's who God has given us to play the music. He chose them, I didn't. We try to play a mixture except for some of the really crazy stuff that we wouldn't know how to do any way. Someday? Who knows.
Sometimes you just have to take the flak and trust God to keep His church alive and well. Perhaps a few of the ones who are complaining the most will go down the street to the old folks church. It might be best for all.
Ours used to be like that, before it almost died.
I think our church is alive and well and it is because God has brought young people to it. Thank you Lord. I love old Hymns but I like new praise songs to. By the way we have 80 year old folks too so not all old people hate new music.
Steve U.
Anonymous said…
Steve U.
"will go down the street to the old folks church. It might be best for all."

Steve, I would not dream of suggesting you take your voice and go down the street to another church. As Mark's site states, there is a place for everyone at Hayward's church.

I do NOT think God feels anyone is unwelcome at HIS church.

Unfortunately, others can sense if we have this attitude that they are NOT wanted.

I do NOT wish anyone to feel that way, not even you.

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