I understand the dark side has cookies, as well as all the cool force powers like force choke and lightening. Plus they have James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. I mean how cool is that? The force isn’t the only thing with a dark side … well darker side. To say dark side would assume that there is some evil to it. It isn’t evil per se, just less than enjoyable for anyone in their right mind.
What is this “darker side” you ask? Church politics.
This week I will be involved in way too much on the political front. We have our sectional meeting tomorrow. My denomination is based on a structure where each congregation is mostly autonomous. They vote for their pastors and the church organizational structure. The only requirement is that they agree with the beliefs held by the denomination and a few structural guidelines that seek to guard those beliefs. Within this system the national structure is broken down into districts and the districts are further broken down into sections.
Our section is one of the largest by area, though many of the churches are smaller and spread out quite a bit. This comes from being in a rural section. For this reason they proposed that we setup a new section that basically split our section into east and west halves. We did this on a trial basis for the past several months and for the first time since I became licensed within this denomination I felt like a part of something bigger than our little community.
Tomorrow will be the first time I have attended a sectional meeting with the larger section in 2 years. The church we are going to is further than the farthest church in the smaller temporary section and it is about halfway to the farthest church in the larger section. This is why we haven’t done much within the larger section, it is just too far to make it feasible, but in the past 6 months the smaller section has had 6 meetings, and I attended 5 of them. I would have been at 6 but I was very ill for one.
I feel worried about the political games that go on in the Church. I know it isn’t just my denomination or church. I know why a lot of churches refuse to be a part of a denomination, but even in those churches there is a lot of political posturing.
I pray tomorrow will not be full of these things. I pray that we can keep in smaller sections. I don’t have a problem with the people and churches in the bigger section, I just have an issue with the distance.
I also pray for this coming Sunday when we have our annual business meeting. I pray that it is an exercise in community and grace, not a bunch of self serving posturing.
Have you had to deal with Church politics? How does it make you feel? What is the solution?