Network News - June 8, 2018
Capital Baptist News

Network News - June 8, 2018

Terrie has surgery on her hand on Wednesday next week, so the office will be closed. You can reach Bob Lewis on his cell phone or through email. or 916.996.0964
Monday's office hours will be uncertain because Terrie has to go in for pre-op first thing Monday. Not sure when she'll be in the office. But the office should be open in the afternoon Monday, regular hours Tuesday, and possibly Thursday if all goes well. 

SRBN Pastor, Dr. Calvin Nation, Retiring
Pastor of First Baptist Church of North Highlands, Dr. Calvin Nation, is retiring and moving to Stillwater, OK. This Sunday, June 10, is his last Sunday. We will miss Calvin and Cheri. Praying that God blesses them in their retirement and with safe travels as they move. 

SRBN Senior Adult Conference coming this Fall in September
For eleven years, First Baptist Orangevale has hosted this great conference. This year, it will be hosted at The Church on Cypress in Carmichael. We are excited to keep this event going strong. Make plans to join us this fall! September 23-25. Keynote speaker is Pastor Richard Dwyer.

Internship with Stipend at Lake Tahoe, California for Fall, 2018 and Winter/Spring, 2019

Fall 2018:We are looking for one preschool teacher/intern who has completed 12 semester hours in any combination of the following types of classes: Early Childhood, Child Life, Child Development, or Human Development and Family Studies. August 7-December 21, 2018
Spring 2019:We are recruiting 4 preschool teachers and 4 school age teachers. Preschool teachers must have the qualifications listed above.  School age teachers need 12 hours in any combination of the following types of classes: education, art, music, dance, theater, physical education, recreation, psychology, sociology, child development, nursing, or home economics. January 2-June 8, 2019
You will receive round-trip airfare, housing, food money, a $500 per month stipend, and local ministry-related transportation.  You will experience quality training and supervision.  Previous students tell us that this is a life changing experience, and highly recommend this opportunity to you.

Part-time Musician/Worship Leader
Roseville Baptist Church is seeking a musician to join a growing church family to provide accompaniment for the Sunday morning worship time. This is a part-time position with a salary range that will be commensurate with amount of work done. Please email Pastor David to submit a resume.

English Pastor - Sacramento Korean Baptist Church
Part time position includes preaching and leading Bible study on Sundays and leading a small group during the week. Must be SBC ordained pastor with an MDiv. Pay is $1100 (negotiable). 
Send resume to or call 916-966-0191 for more information.

Senior Pastor - Woodward Park Baptist Church, Fresno 
Send resume and cover letter
Read info here.

Worship Leader - Sutter Creek Baptist Church
Worship Leader needed for small foothill Baptist Church for Sunday Morning traditional worship service only. Call Bill at 916-599-1318.

Worship Leader Intern and/or Keyboardist/Pianist
The Church on Cypress is looking for a music intern to help with worship at least for the summer; longer if desired. This is a volunteer position. Please contact Pastor Dave at 916-579-9562 or for more information.

Pastor Position in Mexico  San Felipe is a desert town on the western shore of the Sea of Cortez in Baja Mexico. Evangelical pastor sought who is excited about living in Baja, ministering to retirees and evangelizing the “snow-bird” community. This is a permanent, full-time position.
More details here.

Children's Ministry Volunteers
New Seasons church has a need for temporary/short term volunteers in their children’s church ministry.
Trained, experienced volunteers with proper clearances, and pastor approval preferred.
For more information contact Pastor Ron Jackson – 619-540-9294 or

Youth Leader Internship
Our church is seeking to fill a vacant position for Youth Leader Intern immediately, and we are reaching out to other churches and Christian organizations in the area with hopes of finding the right person (or couple) for the job.  We are a small-town conservative church, and our active Youth Group currently consists of 8 – 15 students at our Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday gatherings.  The position will require about 15 hours of work each week.  We will offer a salary of $750 - $1000, along with a generous budget for Youth activities.
We hope you would be willing to share our description with anyone who you feel would be a great addition to our team at FBCW.   Please respond and we will send the application as a pdf file, or interested parties may contact the church at 530-795-2821 to schedule an interview.  Thank you in advance for your assistance.
In Christ,
Pastor James  Allen  and the FBCW Stewardship/Personnel Committee

Regional Ministry Director and Chief Financial Operating Officer for Great Commission Association of Southern Baptist Churches
Two employment opportunities for GCA. For more information, please contact Terrie at or Jeff Helton at, 615-496-9860
Or read more here: 
Regional Ministry Director or Chief Financial Operating Officer

Pastor - Valley Baptist Church in Salinas
Please see the file for details: Pastor Job Description 

North Bay School of Theology Registrar for San Quentin State Prison program
If you have administrative gifts, love Christian education, and carry a burden for those condiered by many as "marginal" people, here's a great opportunity for you!
The North Bay School of Theology serving San Quentin State Prison is looking for a program Registrar (this is a volunteer position). Inmates at San Quentin are earning certificates and diplomas from Gateway Seminary's ADVANCE leadership development program. 
This is an amazing ministry! The Christian men who are serving and leading the Chruch behind the walls are eager to elarn and be better equipped to take their community into a deeper faith and maturity in Christ. 
Pastor Miguel Rodriguez of Lincoln Hill Community Church in San Rafael is the Program Director, supported by the Golden Hills Baptist Association and the Redwood Empire Baptist Association.
Are you ready to step up and serve a unique people group with your admin skills and your love of edcuationa nd mercy?
The need is URGENT, so please respond as soon as you are able. Contact Program Director Miguel Rodriguez at

Summer missionaries needed for California
CSBC is offering graduating high school seniors and college students the opportunity to serve for six weeks in California this summer. This program will provide opportunities to share the gospel, teach VBS, lead Bible studies and sharpen leadership skills.
Applications are due May 15, with a $600 fee to cover expenses. A stipend will be given to each missionary at the end of the summer.
Orientation is scheduled June 25-28, with service from June 29-August 10.
Read about this summer's service opportunities and apply today!

10        Harvest America with Greg Laurie - Free Simulcast
           Check it out here 

              ***If your church hosts this event, please let SRBN know so we can help publicize where people can go to watch the simulcast. Thank you!

11-14    Day Camp Session 1 at Camp Alta - $130

17-21    ExO Session 1 at Camp Alta - $250

18-21    Day Camp Session 2 at Camp Alta - $130

8-11      4th-6th Kids Camp at Camp Alta - $155

11-13    1st-3rd Kids Camp at Camp Alta - $140

13-14    Basic Literacy Missions ESL Workshop - Carmichael
The Church on Cypress
             5709 Cypress Avenue, Carmichael
            For more information or to register, go here.

15-19    ExO Session 2 at Camp Alta - $250

16-19    Day Camp Session 3 at Camp Alta - $130

22-26    ExO Session 3 at Camp Alta - $250

29-Aug. 2 ExO Session 4 at Camp Alta - $250

2-5        ExO Couples at Camp Alta - $250

6-9        Special Ministries at Camp Alta - $280

9-10      Global Leadership Summit
             simulcasts available in our area

15         FREE simulcast - A Race for Unity
with Miles McPherson
             Find out more here.
  ***If your church hosts this event, please let SRBN know so we can help publicize where people can go to watch the simulcast. Thank you!

17         Andy Stanley "Deep & Wide" Conference
Mariners - 5001 Newport Coast Drive Irvine CA 92603
             Registration opens June 7 here

23-25    12th Annual Senior Adult Conference 
             The Church on Cypress
             5709 Cypress Avenue, Carmichael
             begins at 4 pm Sunday, September 23rd with a BBQ

22-24    CSBC State Convention Annual Meeting
             Clovis Hill Community Church
             10590 N. Willow Avenue
             Clovis, CA 93619

Let There Be Light movie available for your church. Details here.
I Can Only Imagine movie can now be hosted by your church. Details are here.
Beautifully Broken - Coming to theaters August 24th, is a true story about the Legacy Mission Villagein Nashville, TN. It is the story of how it came to be and the work it does today. Three Families in two different worlds - US and Africa - are connected and so many lives changed because of it. Watch the trailer here
An Interview With God - a movie coming to theaters via Fathom events August 20-22. WHAT WOULD YOU ASK God if you were sitting across the table from Him? The website and trailer are coming soon.
The Trump Prophecy - In theaters October 2 & 4.
More information here.

8 "Christian" Virtures that Are Not Really Christian by Frank Powell for Outreach Magazine

What if certain virtues we equate with following Jesus aren’t actually Christian?
Like it or not, culture shapes our picture of Jesus.
If we don’t identify false stigmas and misconceptions, we will devote time and energy cultivating a virtue that isn’t Christian.
I hate disclaimers, but what follows deserves one. The virtues below aren’t evil. I’m not asking you to avoid them. I am asking you to think seriously about what it means to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Here are 8 Christian virtues that aren’t really Christian.

I can’t help but wonder what we would think about Jesus in modern-day America.

We’re talking about a guy who called one of his closest friends Satan. He talked disrespectfully to religious leaders. Nice wouldn’t be the first word I would use.

Was Jesus kind? Absolutely. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. Here’s the problem, though. Niceness and kindness aren’t interchangeable.

Nice is cheap. It costs you nothing. Nice avoids tension and always strokes your ego, even if Ray Charles could see you’re wrong.

Niceness is NOT next to godliness.

Kindness, however, tells you what you need to hear. It won’t stroke your ego because you’re awesome. Kindness loves you too much for that. The seeds of kindness are planted in the soil of love. From this rich earth comes real tension. But the end result is a fruitful life.

I wonder how many friends Jesus would have in an overly sensitive culture where ego stroking is a national pastime?

I know Jesus would infuriate me. For much of my life, I equated niceness with godliness. Good friends would never call me out, I thought. Good Christians wouldn’t either.

But I struggle to equate niceness with godliness when I read the Gospels. Maybe we need more Christian like Jesus. Maybe we need more friends like Jesus. I know I do.

When Tiffani and I graduated college, we immediately plugged into a local church. For the first two years, we said yes to everything.

“Will you lead a prayer in worship Sunday?”

“We’re short a few volunteers. Will you help out at the food pantry?”

“Will you housesit our cats?”
No. I don’t do cats. Neither does Jesus.

Good Christians were servants, I thought. They never say no. They’re “yes men (and women)” … for Jesus.

While you should serve your local church, the weight of “yes” can (and will) cripple you. For those who say “yes” too often, you feel this weight.

Here’s why. Often times, we say yes because we want to feel needed. It’s about approval, not servanthood.

Saying no to a volunteer opportunity is hard. Saying no to a toxic friendship is painful. Saying no to peer pressure, negativity, temptation, and abuse, all of these are hard.

But let’s not bow down to the god of yes. This god takes everything and gives nothing.

I’m still healing from years of unhealthy exposure to this false Christian virtue. Faithful Christians didn’t miss worship. Ever. They never missed small group. They didn’t miss any church function. Period.

Gathering with Christians matters, of course. But it’s very possible to have perfect church attendance and know very little about God. Much like perfect school attendance doesn’t guarantee good grades.

God is much more concerned with the condition of your heart than the location of your butt.

I grew up equating rule following with Christ following. Good Christians didn’t break rules. They didn’t miss curfew, cheat on tests, or drink alcohol. Oh, and they didn’t curse or have tattoos.

A perfect driving record doesn’t qualify you as a Christian any more than an alcohol addiction disqualifies you.

Besides, some rules need to be broken. They’re faulty and oppressive. Rather than equating righteousness with rule-following, let’s equate righteousness with Jesus.

Growing up, doubting God or questioning the Bible was disrespectful at best, and blasphemous at worst.

Because of this, my faith journey was framed by an unhealthy picture of God. In my mind, God was this divine being with an enormous limb (probably one he picked from The Tree of Life). Positioned like a power hitter in baseball, He waited for someone to question him so he could smash you over the left-field wall.

Then, in college, doubt chiseled away at my faith. I wasn’t sure how to process the hard questions. I couldn’t talk to God. He was mad. I couldn’t talk to other Christians. They would tell me to pray harder.

Then I found a life-saving book. Psalms.

Psalms painted a different picture of God. Faithful men doubted and spoke “matter-of-factly” to God. He didn’t destroy them. He walked with them. He was patient and understanding.

I still question and doubt. The God of love allows space for this. He stays with me through it, and celebrates when I reach the other side.

Christians with doubts and questions aren’t lacking faith. In fact, I would say doubt is an unavoidable by-product of growing closer to an infinitely powerful and knowledgeable God.

When I worked in youth ministry, I traveled a lot. Before loading the bus, everyone had an opportunity to pull the trigger on shotgun. But, to be honest, I only wanted one person to call it. Why? I had a Bible trivia app and no one else competed with me.

I could name every judge and pair people with weird, random facts. I knew the Bible.

But this isn’t surprising, right? Faithful Christians know their Bible. Well … that depends.

The apostle Paul says knowledge puffs up but loves builds up. My Christian journey proves this verse true.

Knowledge alone is quite dangerous, actually.

I look back on my Bible trivia days. While I rarely lost, my reward for winning was a crown of pride.

Jesus flipped the model of righteousness and holy living. Faithful Christians might know their Bible. But if you’re Bible knowledge doesn’t compel to serve your neighbor, you’re missing something. Great students are great servants.

While we’re here, let’s include other members of the squad. Organized. Efficient. Go-getter.

Granted, being on time can show concern and respect for the person you’re meeting.

But promptness isn’t a Christian virtue. If Jesus lived in modern-day America, I’m not sure he would appreciate our infatuation with “to-do lists” and punctuality. We’re talking about a guy who arrived late to scheduled appointments, and on one occasion, his “lateness” resulted in a man’s death, Lazarus. Beggars and tax collectors distracted Jesus. He changed plans without warning.

I’ve heard passive aggressive comments about being late for worship all my life. I’ve made them myself. While punctuality is good practice in America, it’s not a barometer for godliness or devotion to God.

I’m an emotional guy. I cry often. Don’t judge me. I also lift my hands and move around when I worship.

Real Christians are expressive, I used to think. But spending time with Christians who aren’t expressive revealed something different, a deep love for Jesus. On the flip side, I’ve spent time with expressive, emotional Christians and found them to be bored and dry. Expressive, emotional behavior can reveal passion, but not necessarily.

Let’s be careful not to make our perspective the perspective. God is infinitely creative. So are his people.

It’s your turn. What “Christian” virtues that are not really Christian would you add to this list?

10 Essentials for a Successful Outdoor Event by Danny Franks for CTPastors
Don't let weather, logistics, or Egyptian plagues keep you from taking your service outside.
You are planning an outdoor service or event for your church. It sounds so quaint. So rustic-nouveau. So ... vulnerable to a meteorological and logistical disaster.

I know what it’s like to take church services to the great outdoors. From intimate baptism services for a few people at a lake, to renting out the local Triple-A ballpark for a 12,000-person event, we’ve seen, done, and experienced it all. The end result of an outside event feels like the Israelite Exodus: either you just entered the Promised Land, or you barely survived a modern-day version of the Egyptian plagues. There’s rarely anything in between.
Why would anyone risk clouds of insects, impending darkness, hail bombardment, or hordes of frogs? (Okay, that last one might be less likely than the others.)
There are several good reasons to take things outside. Church outside the norm brings excitement to your congregation. It stirs up stagnant waters and forces you out of ruts. If you’re a multi-service or multi-site church, this is an opportunity to get the entire family together under no roof.
There are also potential wins for outreach. Few things will bring outsiders and insiders closer together than taking insiders outside. Outdoor services allow your church to invite your community to a non-threatening, neutral environment. Neighbors may feel skeptical about walking into the sanctuary at First Baptist, but they’ll let down their defenses if they’re heading to the neighborhood park.
You can use the momentum of an outdoor event to bless your city by partnering with a local charity, or inviting attendees to bring food for the soup kitchen or blankets for the homeless shelter. You might lean into existing partnerships or ask your team to help forge new ones.
But to pull off this kind of service, you will need to be intentional. Outdoor events take more planning than indoor services. Churches can’t just close their eyes, toss something together, and hope for the best. When you uproot your entire congregation and move them to a new location, you will need contingency plans for your contingency plans. So cool your jets, extend your timeline, and think about the details. Here are a few things I’ve learned from the many outdoor events I’ve helped coordinate.
1. Gather your brain trust. This is not the time to plan solo. You need your whole leadership team involved: your music team, tech team, kids’ ministry team, communication team, and preaching team. Pull in creatives who can think outside the box. Toss in a project manager with an eye for details and a few IV drips of coffee. Find a highly organized leader to be your point person.
2. Find your purpose. Don’t do this just to do it. Rally around something. The primary purpose of the gathered church should always be to celebrate Jesus. But this is also an opportunity for the body of Christ to give back and bless the city... 
3. Grab a spot. Depending on your church size, the venue might be your tallest hurdle to jump. If you’re small or medium-sized, your own property or a city park might suffice. Larger congregations will need to think through a few more details. Stadiums or school football fields may be options, and some are surprisingly affordable.
4. Pick a time. Unless you live in a bio-dome, plan on being unable to plan for weather. The nature of your event will drive the season in which you host it. A 50-degree night may be great for a fall festival, but not so great for a baptism service. Beyond the chance of chilly rain or scorching heat, take into consideration school vacation schedules, local sports teams’ home games, existing community celebrations, and other conflicting events.
5. Assemble your team. I’ve found that large outdoor events are an exciting opportunity to pull out all the stops when it comes to creating spaces for people to serve...
6. Plan for safety. Sadly, we no longer live in Mayberry where old friends can gather for an impromptu concert at the band shell with nothing to fear but spiders. Larger churches should consider hiring off-duty security. Smaller churches might try to work with their local police department to develop a comprehensive safety strategy.
7. Sweat the details. Is this a kid-friendly service or will you provide on-site childcare? Is there enough parking to accommodate your crowd? Do attendees pay for parking or do you subsidize? Will you provide food or ask people to pack a picnic? Will your venue’s built-in audiovisual equipment suffice, or do you need to truck it in or hire an outside professional? Do you need to secure permits for crowds and sound?
8. Deliver the wow. This is no time to pinch pennies. When it comes to outdoor services, go big or go home. Hardwire this into your budget. Go the extra mile with programming. Pay attention to the special touches: If it’s hot, provide sunscreen and bug spray. If it’s cold, pass out hot chocolate and hand warmers.
9. About those contingencies. What will you do if it rains? Do you relocate or reschedule? What happens if too many people show up? Will you have to turn some away? We have dealt with everything from the minor—early morning rain which resulted in a few dozen volunteers being outfitted with towels and deployed on a search-and-dry mission—to the major—a suspicious package, which led our venue hosts to evacuate 2,000 people 20 minutes before the start of the service. I can’t tell you how to prepare for every possible issue, but I can remind you that you will have issues. Anticipation and flexibility are key. As Getting Things Done author David Allen says, “Over-prepare. Then go with the flow.”
10. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. I don’t care if your church members have been to the venue dozens of times before, they’ve likely never been to a church service there. So answer their questions before they ask. Let people know what time the doors will open, what the options are for their kids, what you’ll provide to eat, and how long the service or event will last. Communicate those specifics in written (email, website, mailed letter), verbal (Sunday announcements), and visual (walk-through video, if possible) forms to cut out the confusion.
By moving services outside, we have created some of the fondest corporate memories in our church’s history. As we look back on the last decade of our existence, many of the high-water marks were moments where the entire church family came together, celebrated Jesus, and invited friends and neighbors into the story of the gospel.
Read the full article here.

Lord, Deliver Us from Passive-Aggressive Conflicts by Pete Scazzero for Christianity Today
Every church has elephants in the narthex. Here are four ways to root them out.

  • Pastor Rob is a gifted communicator. People love him. Unfortunately he has a habit of misrepresenting the truth. He routinely agrees to do things and then never follows through. He also exaggerates and embellishes facts. Those close to him have learned to tolerate it as part of the “visionary communicator” package.
  • Nora’s ministry is flourishing, but she shows up late to staff meetings and one-on-one meetings—a lot. She apologizes and offers reasonable excuses, but the late arrivals persist. Others complain about her lateness, but no one holds her accountable for it.
  • Mia is young, immature, and sometimes brash. Volunteers rarely stay on her team for long. (She alleges this is due to their lack of commitment.) She does amazing work with the website and social media, so other church leaders hope this counterbalances her abrasive manner.
  • Owen is a great guy and a faithful small group leader, but he avoids conflict. In meetings, only his body language and tone give clues as to whether something is bothering him. He won’t admit he has any issues, even when he’s asked outright.
  • Patrick, the administrative assistant, has been on staff for 10 years, but he is highly critical of others, especially the new staff members who don’t have the history he has with the church. The church is changing and growing, but Patrick is not. His supervisor doesn’t know how to talk to him about it or what to do about all the complaints from those Patrick is supposed to be supporting.

Many expect church teams to experience less conflict than teams in secular workplaces. To a casual observer, this may seem to be the case, but that’s because Christians tend to spiritualize, rationalize, cover up, or avoid dealing with the issues that lead to conflict. We sweep potential conflicts under the rug. As a result, we leave those issues unresolved, and they linger in the room, threatening to disturb our carefully protected “peace.” While we may not have as many outright conflicts, we ignore—and sometimes feed—elephants in the room like the ones described above.
When I suggest that part of leadership is to expose and explore these elephants, leaders often look at me in disbelief: “Pete, you have to be kidding. Do you know what would happen if I confronted every elephant in the room? I might lose half my team. And I wouldn’t have time for anything else!”
But elephants rarely leave the room on their own. In fact, they feed on silence and grow into bigger, crisis-laden elephants over time. Moreover, elephants tend to arise from unresolved issues in leaders’ inner lives. Immaturity rooted in unresolved issues from a team member’s family of origin, trauma, issues with authority, or faulty thinking will manifest sooner or later. As much as we wish leaders would arrive on our doorsteps as mature, peak performers, this rarely happens.
There is good news, however. Dealing with elephants in the room transforms immature behaviors into critical discipleship moments for your team—opportunities to build a healthy culture. Here are a few tips for dealing with unresolved conflict on your team. They may look deceptively simple, but they are powerful and effective when applied in love.

1. Be puzzled
Develop a new vocabulary to deal with elephants. For example, instead of saying, “Why did you leave such a mess in the office kitchen?” we can say, “I’m puzzled about why you didn’t clean up after yourself.” Instead of saying, “You should have returned my e-mail sooner,” we can say, “I’m puzzled about why you didn’t respond to my e-mail sooner.” “I’m puzzled” statements force us to acknowledge that we don’t always know why people do what they do. They help us pause and catch our hearts before they jump to judgment and form unfavorable “you did” or “you should” statements.

2. Make a healthy complaint
On our team and in our church we encourage people to use the phrase “I noticed ... and I prefer …” as the formula for making complaints. For example, when a supervisor sends a PowerPoint presentation to the tech volunteer at the last minute, instead of bottling up frustration and annoyance, he might say, “I noticed that you sent me your PowerPoint two hours before your presentation, and I would prefer that you send it one day ahead of time so I have time to upload it into our computer system.” Instead of saying, “You were late for our meeting—if you don’t show up on time, I can’t work with you in the future,” someone might say, “I noticed you arrived 20 minutes late for our leadership team meeting, and I prefer that you call when you are running late so I can adjust my schedule.”
It’s a simple phrase, but saying “I noticed ... and I prefer …” gives people training wheels to relate differently. It helps them become aware of and take responsibility for the small irritations and annoyances that arise every day.

3. Stop trying to read minds
My wife, Geri, and I were meeting with Steve, one of our small group leaders, in our home. He recounted how, after he made a great presentation at work, his boss sent out an e-mail thanking everyone but him. “I know he has it out for me,” remarked Steve in anger. “He never liked me.” Geri and I glanced at each other, recognizing this was a teachable moment.
“Do you know that for sure?” Geri asked. “Has he told you that? Or might there be other ways to interpret what happened?” I roleplayed how Steve might have wrongly interpreted what happened. I acted as if I were Steve walking into his boss’s office, and Steve roleplayed his boss. “Mr. Simmons,” I began, “I’m confused about why you sent a thank-you e-mail to everyone on our team but me, especially when you seemed so pleased with my presentation in the meeting. Did I miss something?”
By taking the opportunity to clarify things through verbal communication, we can keep a small problem from developing into an elephant.

4. Be honest
A pastor friend recently told me about his interaction with Andy, a musician on the church’s worship team. Andy had complained to my friend that worship team practice went 30 minutes over time because of all the joking around the music director had permitted. A few days later, the music director, sensing Andy’s annoyance, asked, “Hey Andy, were you upset during rehearsal the other night? You left so quickly.” Andy replied, “No, I just hurt my back and wanted to get home right away.” In truth, Andy didn’t have back pain. He had played basketball with the church team the previous night!
My friend chose to approach Andy a few days later, being careful not to shame or judge him. “Hey, Andy, I’m curious,” he said. “I overheard you tell the music director you went home early from rehearsal because of a bad back. What made you say that?” The conversation that followed was powerful. Andy talked about how his family ignored conflict when he was young, and as a result, he tended to lie to avoid awkward situations. Andy and his pastor identified some of his faulty assumptions about “niceness” in church culture, and how he might own his feelings and express them truthfully and constructively. They even considered how he might go back and redo his conversation with the music director.
Like spokes on a wheel, the Roman Empire’s elaborate road system led travelers directly to the city of Rome (hence the ancient axiom “All roads lead to Rome”). In the same way, all surface issues in our lives eventually lead back to the unhealthy root issues ingrained within us, which influence how we relate to ourselves and others. When we work with someone to unpack such issues—like the incident between Andy and the music director—we can expect that work to lead to the roots that inform similar behaviors. Address one issue thoroughly and light will be shed on the rest.
If we lead within the church, we may not be able to pay marketplace salaries. Many of the teams we lead might be comprised of volunteers. But we can offer something much more valuable than financial compensation: spiritual and emotional discipleship to help those we lead become more like Jesus. That means addressing simmering conflict before it boils over and using those moments as discipleship opportunities.


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