Author and church consultant, Thom Rainer, recently did a survey of the kinds of petty arguments churches had experienced. Some of them are real doozies! I whittled the list down to ten. Here you go...
10) Argument over the appropriate length of the worship pastor's beard
9) A 45 minute heated argument over the type of filing cabinet to purchase: black or brown; two, three or four drawers
8) A deacon accusing another deacon of sending an anonymous letter, and deciding to settle the matter in the parking lot
7) Fight over whether or not to build a children's playground or to use the land for a cemetery
6) A church dispute of whether or not to install restroom stall dividers in the women's restroom
5) A dispute over whether the worship leader should have his shoes on during the service
4) A big church argument over the discovery that the church budget was off 10 cents. Someone finally gave a dime to settle the issue
3) Business meeting argument about whether the church should purchase a weed eater or not. It took two business meetings to resolve it
2) Arguments over what type of green beans the church should serve
1) Major conflict when the youth borrowed a Crockpot that had not been used for years
Does the devil rub his grubby little hands with glee over these kinds of incidents. You bet! When the church is fighting over filing cabinets, weed eaters or Crockpots then the church is completely distracted from its mission of baptizing and teaching the lost, the searching and the hurting. How many people walk out of those kinds of meetings and say, "If this is what the church is like, I don't need it!"
May the Lord save the church from its inclination to "major in the minors" of congregational life. May nothing get in the way of being "witnesses" of our Lord's forgiveness and salvation. Until Jesus comes again, we've got work to do! God lead us in that work and bless that work, for Jesus' sake.