The Pastor’s Helpline
Our church attendance has been dropping since we started our building project. What can I do?
I don’t envy you trying to build at these times of dire economic challenges, but if I must tell you the truth, both the problem you are facing and the remedy lies within you as the Pastor of the church.
My first question to you is who asked you to build? Did you start the building project because it seemed logical to do so or did you take time to seek the face of the Lord to get a clearance, remember Psalm 127:1.
Secondly and assuming that you got a go-ahead from the Lord how well did you prepare the hearts of your people for the task ahead. Did you lay a proper foundation by teaching them, did you present the project in the light of the glory of God or did you knowingly or otherwise position yourself as the main beneficiary.
Also, did you set an example in sacrificial giving yourself before de-manding them to give sacrificially, are you a giver yourself? Remem-ber the oil flows from the head.
Another area you may want to consider is prayer; is there a deliberate prayer strategy to support the project, don’t forget that we are fighting a war and Sanballats and Tobias’ are all around working to stop the work.
Assuming you have done well in all the above, then maybe your case is like that of Gideon! God does not want to share His glory with an-ybody. In that case, I would encourage you not to despair but rather to press on in faith doing all you know to do and watch God do what He alone is able to do.
Like every other couple, we have our quarrels and arguments, but I am worried about the insults that we hurl at each other and long periods of silence afterwards. Please what can be done?
Thank you for being frank and sincere.
Some of us Pastors like to give the impression that we have perfect marriages when the contrary is the case.
True, disagreements are normal because we are different, and the goal of marriage is not to blot out our differences but rather to help us to leverage them to optimize our relationship experience as a couple.
Marriage is a journey and we are all still on the way, so what I am sharing with you are nuggets that we have picked up 25 years into the journey.
Conflicts are inevitable therefore, rather than try to avoid them which in itself will lead to more conflicts in the future, couples should agree on how to manage their conflicts.
Your conflict management procedure (CMP) should include the fol-lowing:
1. Agreeing that conflicts are normal
2. Agreeing to honour the Lord even when in conflict by
a. Watching what we say, meaning no insults (Mat 5:22)
b. Settling your disagreements promptly (Eph 4:26)
c. Practising forgiveness indeed (Mat 6:14-15)
3. Agreeing that if any dispute is not resolved amicably either party can reach out to a previously agreed third party to intervene.
The above is not a magic wand, for the CMP to work, both parties must be truly born again and willing to please the Lord indeed.
Also, make it a habit to pray together. Prayer will fuse your hearts together and make your conflicts less rancorous.
My contact details:
Pastor Noruwa Joseph Edokpolo
08033291473 (SMS and WhatsApp only)