And Hopefully, How It Ends.
It begins in Matthew 18:15.
This verse opens up with, “If your brother or sister sins…”
After reading those words, you may be assuming that this is going to be a finger-pointing post. Perhaps, you’ve already thought to yourself, “Here we go. Another pastor writing an article of forced conviction.“
I assure you, this is not my goal. Yesterday, we highlighted relationships.
In fact, this whole week, I want to continue focusing on the relationship components, found within Matthew chapter 18.
And so, we begin with “If your brother or sister sins…” Another way to say it would be, “when someone inside the church sins…” or “when someone inside the Body of Christ sins…” This tells us that the following principles are not to be used with people who are not Christians.
Next, highlight the word, “sins“.
Let’s say in your worship service, your Pastor preferred that the Worship Leader use an electric guitar instead of an acoustic guitar.
(After all, we all know that the angels in heaven are using electric guitars. So conducting worship here on earth with an electric guitar is obviously the godly choice.)
To set the Worship Leader straight, the Pastor should probably follow Matthew 18 and go to the Worship Lead to let him know what the Lord had revealed to him as the heavenly choice of guitar. This fits right?
Wrong! This is preference not sin.
The Worship Leader hasn’t done anything wrong. There’s no sin issue with choosing one type of guitar over another. Therefore, in this fictitious scenario, Matthew 18 just doesn’t apply.
No sin, no need for Matthew 18.
Let’s change our narrative.
Let’s say the Pastor was so offended by the Worship Lead’s acoustic guitar, that he broke into his house and stole it.
Not only that, but the Pastor had the audacity to tell the Worship Leader on Sunday morning before worship practice, that it was him stole the guitar and that he has to play an electric guitar instead.
Now we have a sin problem.
How should the Worship Leader respond? Obviously he wants his guitar back, so he could just call the police and let them deal with the Pastor. Perhaps, he could call the Elders and have them deal with it? That would be an intense situation.
Perhaps the Worship Leader could air some dirty laundry over social media with a well crafted post or tweet: “Nice guitar Pastor! Where’d you get it? Oh yeah that’s right, my house! #ThePastorsAThief #ThePastorsASinner #ImTellingGod #GiveMeBackMyGuitar”
Instead, he could read the rest of verse 15.
“…just between the two of you…” (18:15)
Thankfully the Worship Leader chooses to open his Bible to Matthew 18. As he contemplates this situation, he recognizes that the Pastor does in fact have a couple of sin issues that need dealt with.
First there’s vandalism of his home and second, there’s the theft of his guitar. Lastly, there’s a potential sin issue of pride and arrogance.
He reads the words, “…just between the two of you…” So the Worship Lead calls the Pastor up and asks if they can go for coffee.
The relationship is at risk.
The relationship matters to the Worship Leader and more importantly, the relationship matters to God. In fact, Scripture shows us that to God, the relationship matters more than the guitar.
Therefore, the Worship Lead will attempt to reconcile and restore that relationship.
“…the testimony of two or three…” (18:16)
Unfortunately, during the coffee meeting the Pastor is clearly unresponsive. He made it very clear that his plan is to teach the Worship Lead a lesson. So, at the coffee meeting, he tells him that he’s decided to pawn his guitar and buy him an electric guitar to replace it.
He figures this is the best way to bring the Worship Leader to his senses regarding the proper form of worship music.
Clearly, his heart is continuing to darken.
The Worship Leader opens Matthew 18 again and reads, “…the testimony of two or three…”
He remembers that a couple of members of the worship team members were around during this whole situation. He gives them a call and they’re willing to meet and give testimony to help the Pastor understand that his behaviour was and is sinful and that it cannot continue.
Once again, the relationship is at risk.
The Worship Leader is wise to not just simply choose two or three random people from within the church. Or worse, choose two or three people who don’t really like the Pastor.
Choosing a few random people or people at odds with the Pastor would just escalate the problem. The goal of bringing witness testimony is to show the Pastor where he’s stumbling, to reconcile with him and restore him as a Christian brother.
And if everything works out as planned, he gets his guitar back as well.
Let’s wrap up this narrative.
To put a bow on it, the Worship Leader and the worship team helped the Pastor see his sin, he repented and the Worship Lead got his guitar back.
And the Pastor even contemplated the idea that Jesus appreciates all kinds of music!
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
What do you think the Church look like if we placed more focus on relationships instead of preferences and possessions?