Relational Issues within the Church

I've been hurt as well as hurt others recently and in the past a lot. We're humans with dark, wicked, little hearts. It happens. Things are assumed, words are flung, and drama can take over while bitterness sets in if we're not careful. I've learned some things from all this reoccurring drama. Women are so confusing! Hahaha We all know that though. But really, it we an fix things while avoiding drama and bitterness. It's kinda like a flow chart:

Fix-It Flow Chart

I joke, but isn't this our life as Christian women? Waiting for someone to do something thoughtless, selfish, or just dumb. It's exhausting on all kinds of levels. One of the biggest factors I've had to deal with is peoples misconstrued expectations of a relationship. Usually its an unbalanced "friendship" where one person is pulling most of the weight.

Kathy Escobar has an awesome description of relationships with non-believers where she explains how to become incarnation. You may want to look her's explanation but this is how I understand it and think it can be applied to all relationships. Who are you in any given relationship dynamic?

  • Paternal- The person who always assumes the provider roll in a relationship. Does life TO others placing themselves in a position "over" others. Meeting needs in the most logical ways. This creates oppression and set positions.
  • Maternal- The person who always assumes the fix-it roll in a relationship. Does life FOR others placing themselves in a position "under" others. Meeting emotional needs, providing counseling, encouragement, and advise. This creates bondage and codependency.
  • Siblimatic {my word, her's being Incarnational}- The person who gives and takes. Does life WITH people as an equal, leveling the balance of "power".


I'm sure identifying these categories in others was easy but did you see yourself in any of these? Some times these are heightened among those relationships we build within the Church. Whether that be with the pastor and his wife or other church members. I've seen it happen over and over again, where people have been or will become de-churched based on relational hurts. Sometimes pressures to be everyone or no one's BFF is heavy on clergy and often relationships are lop-sided- one of those unhealthy dynamics.

Friend or Church Member Check List

The main theme here is give-and-take. I think its hard to admit, we are not really "friends" with everyone we know and I might be the first to tell you this but...That Is Okay. Understanding the dynamic of a relationship can fix poor expectations and avoid drama and or bitterness when those expectations aren't met.

I've both had to admit I can't be everyone's friends as well as not everyone wants to actually be my friend. I have to be alright with this, not become too hard on myself, and take solace in the fact that Jesus had a variety of different types relationships. Jesus was always willing to give more than He took, He was fully God and fully man, therefore we should become self-less in our relationships, avoiding self-righteousness when others don't follow suit.

Do you have any other questions we could ask ourselves in determining our relational dynamics?


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Happy Dependance Day

God bless America?

How arrogant can we be? What makes us think we have some spacial relationship with Christ just because we live in America?


Don't hear me wrong, I enjoying being an American citizen. I am so grateful for many blessings God has granted me with through living in this nation. The opportunities that have arisen because of where I live are innumerable but ALL of those still fall under the authority of Christ. Not the country in which I live. God had a "chosen people" in which His grand plan of salvation would play out through but after Jesus fulfilled that on the cross, the road to eternal life was opened to Jews and Gentiles alike. No amount of favoritism existed.

It's worrisome when we pledge more allegiance to our countries flag than we do to our King. When we do so, we are no longer Christians {Christ-followers} we are Americans {American-followers}. These words are NOT synonymous. A nation in and of itself can not be "Christians" and we are slandering the name of Jesus by claiming that America is a Christian nation. We Need To STOP! America is NOT a Christian nation. We are a nation like any other with good intentions, searching for a truth to live for. C

Can I tell you, achieving the American Dream is NOT God's blessing on you "living for Him"?! A team of individuals starting a new nation because of persecution a gazillion years ago does not mean this entire nation is chasing after the heart of Christ. Tagging the name of God to wars, political fights, flags, and our standards is self-serving and leading other nations to really think anything they see coming out of America is Christian.

Did you know that because of insistence to be labeled a Christian nation, citizens from other nations HATE the name of Jesus? They are not getting a correct view of Jesus via American TV, the U.S. in the news, and a lot of ignorant people who happen to live in America but don't follow Christ. The problem isn't media. The problem is trying to force moral standards on a pagan nation.

Enjoy the freedom we have left here in America because the Bible is very clear that FREEDOM in Christ is eternal but that doesn't mean following Him will ever be easy. Hug an amazing soldier who fight for those rights for us and thank them but don't loose focus on THE one who fought for our rights to be adopted into the family of God. The confederate flag, the American flag, or even the man-made Christian flag do not deserve your allegiance. Stop chasing the wind for a purpose to get behind and look up. Christ is there, behind all that muck we are blasting at one anther. None of that muck is worth the fight. Christ and His illogical love for undeserving humankind is what's worth the fight!

Happy Dependance Day!

Please break free from the idea that the American dream will save you and become a bond-slave to Jesus, becoming completely dependent on His every provision and not disillusioned with independence that will send you to eternal separation from the One we all need. I mean, just think of what would happen if Christians reacted to real issues like we do the distracting fluff issues!

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Sickness and Sin

He cleaned her up after her second puking episode in this 2015 Puke-a-Palooza season. She looked up at him grossed out and sad to say, "Daddy, I hate that sickness is part of our world because of sin."


I don't do puke. Chop open the back of your head and gush with blood, I'm your girl but the smell of sickness is what I can't handle. My hubs has always been sweet enough to handle that nastiness but I'm sad I missed this beautiful recognition of how literally sin affects our daily lives.

The consequences of sin are all around us if we are willing to identify it. As Christ-followers, sometimes we like to pretend our 'silent' sins don't have any reactions in our world like those that are loud in the secular world. We somehow act as though gossip and unforgiveness are less harmful than homosexuality and idol worship. All those are self-serving perversions of God's original plan.

Sin is and will always be part of our world until all the nations have heard the gospel and Christ returns for His followers. It sucks but that's the truth. So what do we do with that?


We live in community with believers and non-believers in love while chasing after the heart of Jesus and eagerly awaiting his return that will end the madness that our sin started.  God didn't ask us to hide, build walls, and protect ourselves.

I was taught growing up that you didn't hang out with "bad kids". You know, you might catch their sin. My prayer, as I surround my children with ALL those Christ died for, wither they have accepted that free gift yet or not, is that my children's lives are so overrun with the health of God's love that they don't catch too many sins. We're all gonna screw up and will never be sinless but if we are chasing hard after the heart of Jesus then we will totally sin less.

Are you scared of catching your own versions of the valley plague from doing life so closely with your local body of believers? Do you fear hanging out with non-Christians and catching their sin? What skewed view of God do we have that maybe needs to be realigned with the Bible so we can more fully love all those around us?

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Live OUTSIDE Your Home

A major key to missional living for our homeschooling family of lots of littles is living OUTSIDE our home.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home #missionalliving True LOVE! is messy -1 Peter 48

It could be super easy for our family to isolate ourselves by only attending the valley {our church plant} surrounding ourselves with Christians and then stay within the shelter of our home for the rest of the week, schooling, taking turns grocery shopping alone, pull in the garage and shut the door behind ourselves. BUT what fun would that be? We wouldn't be participating in the amazing adventure God has called us to be a part of. For us, being a visible presence in our neighborhood is a natural part of that adventure. But lets be honest...with four littles, if I don't set myself up for success, I'll never do it. Although spontaneous fun is usually best, sometimes just a few things could make the spontaneous a little more convenient. Here are some of the simple ways we've chosen to live missionally in our neighborhood:

Living OUTSIDE You Home #missionalliving {front porch}Front Porch
We inherited a beautifully manicured lawn when we moved in 2 years ago. I immediately apologized to all the neighbor, explaining that I had a large family to feed and water and the plants wouldn't survive the neglect. As a result, I got friends to dig up nearly 1/2 of the front flowerbed and we extended our front porch for more optimal porch sitting {WITH neighbors}.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home {furniture} #missionallivingFurniture
As an addition to our amazing front porch, we've been slowly adding quality furniture as we found it wicked cheap. We would love to have optimal seating for who ever pops over.

Living OUSIDE Your Home on your driveway #missionallivingDriveway
We want to keep everyone safe while they're playing outside so we always move our vehicles onto the road {sometimes blocking the driveway entrance} and that lets the kids have the entire driveway for chalk, riding toys, or just running. We keeps keys in a bowl so they're fast to find, kids know the routine so they stay near the house while we move them, and they know the boundaries.

Living OUTSIDE You Home with toys #missionallivingToys
We keep inexpensive toys specifically for outside readily available for the kids and their friends so hanging out with friends is quick and easy. We also have have multiple sizes of riding toys so we can share with friends.

Living OUTSIDE You Home #missionalliving {walks}Walks
Although we don't have a sidewalk on our side of the road, we do have an awesome sidewalk all the way up our road! Being out and about our neighborhood allows us to get to know neighbors even as simple as waving hi, getting to see who lives where, and letting them see and get to know us.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home #missionalliving {garage}Cookouts
Having a spot set up with all the basics of a great cookout helps us be ready at the drop of the hat for a cook out with friends. We keep extra food in the deep freeze, cheap drinks in the mini fridge, picnic blanket ready, lawn chairs stacked in the corner, ice chest ready, and snacks in our hospitality desk.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home {block parties} #missionallivingBlock Parties
Block parties are coming about a lot more natural these days. It was fun to hear that so many neighbors have been dreaming of doing "something Just like this for years" and God allowed us to start that for them. There are a thousand different themes you could do but just offering a potluck type dinner and a designated space is really all you need.

I hope this helps you think through living outside your home with a #missionalliving mentality! God has called us to love our neighbors and it doesn't have to be unnaturally hard.

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An Open Letter to Our Former Youth Group

Dear Former Youth Group {an open letter to generation Xers and Millennials}

Dear former youth group,

I'm here to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we told you not have sex, do drugs, or drink alcohol. I'm sorry we guilted you into devoting your midweek to our service rather than your God-given-interest. I'm sorry we taught you self-righteous religion rather than the true character of God.

Here's the thing. The Bible isn't a book mostly about YOU and what YOU should be doing. It's a book about GOD and what HE has done.

We unintentionally taught you that that every story in the Bible somehow points to you. We explained that your behavior was the ultimate dictator of salvation. Though we never would have come out and said it knowing it was totally false, we let you believe that your behavior swayed God in some way, good or bad. We painted a picture of God as a Santa-figure who sees you when you were sleeping, sees when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, so please be good for goodness sake.

The Bible does have guidelines for how life works best. Why wouldn't it. It's a story about the Creator and His creation. It's bound to come up because the story of God and what He's done is made even more amazing in light of how things were supposed to work, how we jaked it up, and how His genius master plan is going to redeem us even though we don't deserve anything.

Many of you in our youth group were coming to 'church' alone. You're parents weren't devout Christ-followers or even if they were, they were possibly relying on us to teach about God. Most adult use youth group like a public school, trusting that the fundamentals of "Christianity" are the responsibility of the staff at a 'church'. Because of that, I'm even more sorry we didn't show you complete truths.

Every story in the Bible points to Jesus. Not you. You're not supposed to attempt to find yourself in the stories of Noah, Mosis, or David. You're supposed to seek God and His kingdom. Every story whispers His name.

As I watch you grow-up, go to college, move, get jobs, get married, have kids I see religion failing you. No matter how much attempting to be 'good' you can handle it will always leave you empty. Life won't unfold into the christian-karma-crap we filled you with. Because of that you will run. You are running. You're leaving the Church in droves because morality has failed you.

I'm sorry I helped lead you to this place but now I'm hear to fight to lead you back to Christ. To show you His true character. Every aspect of our life bleeds the DNA of who we think God is. Your view of who God is the foundation for your belief system and you believe system determines your actions. Out of our love for you in our youth group, we targeted the only thing we could see, your actions, in an attempt to determine if you were a Christ-follower.

Maybe we had a savior complex, maybe we were just that ingnorant. Painting a picture of a self-serving, smoke and lights, hype and games, fame and fortune religion remorsefully. God's taught us so much over the last few years and we hope to chase down the dechurched generation that we had a hand in running off.

Sincerely yours,

Regretful Youth Pastors of Generation Xers and Millennials

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