Battle scars: When the church wounds its own, part 1

Praise the Lord saints.

Walk slowly with me.

This is a prelude to the most significant issue in “our” churches that has crippled the church’s true calling for decades, reaching the lost.

It’s this mess that has outsiders looking at the church as though it’s lost its power and abilities to affect change, positive change in our communities. It’s why the over 26,000 that are unchurched and not attending are continuing to stay away.  This makes no sense when we have more than 130 churches that are south of Central Avenue. (smh)

I want to start this week out by apologizing to all that feel a certain way about what I wrote last week; however, let me be clear, I’m apologizing that it may be affecting you, not the content.

It’s important to note and understand that the topics I’m discussing are very relevant to the major issues we are facing and have been battling for the past few years in south St. Pete.

I’ve said this before, and I will continue to state that the only chance for us to effectively change all the major messes we are dealing within our communities is that the church has to become the front runner and take its rightful place.

Personally, one pastor in the past told me that there are too many egos to allow one individual to take the reigns, and everyone be in support of them. Sadly, this is holding true.

However, I’m not the type to just stand by in idle and or blast the bull horn, attempting to rally the troops while we continue to sink deeper and deeper in the abyss of mediocrity and failure.

I’m going to continue to reach out to each and every individual I mentioned in my bishop-elect appointment article and pray that their hearts are in tune with my own.

I hope that they are reading their Weekly Challenger because it is amazing to me that you claim to want to make a difference, but you have no clue as to the state of urgency in we are currently.

It’s like I have said in several so-called steering committee meetings, how can you think you have the answer when the question hasn’t even been asked of you?  More plainly, as a middle-class person, someone who has been raised with both parents that worked and paid a mortgage in a good neighborhood, how can you begin to tell those of us who grew up under the poverty line most of our lives and looked up to at the middle class most of our adult lives, how to fix the issues that are plaguing our communities and neighborhoods.  I ask that because most of the meetings and gatherings are full of middle-class individuals.

Nothing against my brothers and sisters that are in that category because most that are in my circle are in this class and I treasure being apart of them because it has given me a much broader perspective as to the overall feeling they have.

The problem has become that most of them believe that their answers to these issues are the only ones that will work.  The issues stem from a poverty or lack perspective, something that they are not experienced in and have only read about. 

Well, if that were the case, we wouldn’t be in the “stuff” that we are in today because almost all, if not all of the ones in leadership came from the middle-class background.  GOLDEN NUGGET – A person with experience will NEVER be at the mercy of a person with a theory.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but most of them are followers that are filling leadership roles and, in most cases, don’t understand the difference between sympathy and empathy, passion and compassion.

I said this last week, and it bears repeating that being in a leadership position never qualifies you to be a leader.  That’s a joke, but many think this, but just because you are popular and you have a compromising personality wanting everyone to like you, God reveals your true worth to Him in His kingdom.

This speaks volumes to last week’s article regarding the issue I am dealing with at my church.

Individuals that have been in leadership roles for an extended amount of time believe that they are actually leaders.  BREAKING NEWS, THIS JUST IN, Leaders are BORN, not MADE! Managers are made.

God places specific skills and abilities into us all at conception, and over time through our experiences, we activate, enhance, and grow these skills and abilities.  We can also quench them and allow them to take a back seat to others we feel are better qualified, not realizing that you have subconsciously told God thanks but no thanks.

But when you don’t receive or achieve the desired results, you question those you placed high esteem in.  All the while, not realizing it was your moment to display God’s gift through you.  

Till next week,

God Bless.

Bishop-Elect Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD

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