“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16).
We can’t say the Lord didn’t warn us. Although, clearly, some did not get the word.
In Matthew 10:16-42 our Lord is preparing His people for their future ministry with its pressures, persecutions, betrayals, and conflicts. He tells us how things will be, what to expect, and what actions we should take when bad things occur. To our shame, our people are rarely taught this, and thus are blindsided when turmoil erupts in a congregation.
And so, when the enemy attacks the church, God’s people panic and flee like chickens in the barnyard when a hostile dog arrives.
We all pay a big price for our failure to prepare the people.
It’s a familiar story, one which I heard again today. When the pastor resigned suddenly due to his own foolish behavior, many in the congregation panicked and went into a tailspin. The leadership wants to carry on the program, but people are leaving the church in droves. What to do? Can anything be done at this late hour to keep members from jumping ship?
The best time to act is two years ago. (“Oh, thanks a lot, wise one. You’re a big help!”)