Some things are very timely. I just read an interesting bit of advice from Kevin DeYoung, author of Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be. DeYoung gives nine steps to follow when you are concerned about issues in your local church (DeYoung’s thoughts are here). DeYoung is commenting specifically in regards to responding to a church expressing Emergent characteristics, but I think his advice would be helpful in other situations. I really wish I’d had read this ten years ago (or five years ago) when I had some concerns at a church I was at. Since I’ve been thinking about this a little bit, I’m thinking this would have helped produce fruit in my own life and possibly in the life of my leaders and church!

Here’s a summary of DeYoung’s list:

1. Search your own heart…

2. Talk to another trusted, mature brother or sister in your congregation to see if your on track… Don’t talk to ten people; talk to one. Don’t bash the pastor or the church…

3. If it seems that your concerns are justified, go with another brother or sister and ask the pastor if you could talk to a few of the leaders about some questions you have…

4. In this meeting, be calm and humble. Don’t go on the warpath. Come ready to share specific examples…

5. At this point several things may happen. 1) You’ve misunderstood things… 2) The leaders may welcome your feedback and have their eyes opened… 3) The leaders may tell you… We think you are wrong… Clarity is better than obfuscation…

6. You could stay in the church…

7. You could leave the church…

8. If you leave, you may be asked by others why you left. Give an honest answer, but refuse taking… shots at the church or leadership. Explain your reasons frankly and matter-of-factly…

9. Pray for your leaders, the church, and your own heart. Then move on…

There are certainly some interesting things to consider with DeYoung’s thoughts. I’m inclined to suggest that graciousness should become our primary characteristic. I’m really trying to pray that I’d be more gracious in my speech so that my speech matches my intentions!

Check out the comments on DeYoung’s site… some neat little tidbits too. What are your thoughts or questions or concerns? I have many!

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