If you desired to destroy a local church how would you go about doing it?Obviously I am not talking about the building itself, nor do I mean destroy it as an outsider. If you recently joined a relatively healthy local church, with the intention of destroying it within 3-5 years, what steps would you take to accomplish this task?
I asked this question on Facebook yesterday and received a healthy dose of response. Which I think speaks volumes for the truth that there are numerous ways that a church could be destroyed. As I have thought through this I have decided how I would go about destroying a local church.
I would spend the first year or so building good relationships with a diverse number of people. It would be my goal to discover the things that drive this church. I would become all things to all people so that by any means I may destroy the whole lot. Their passions would become my passions. Slowly but surely I would move my way into leadership positions such as teaching a Sunday school class.
As I begin my new Sunday school class I will be certain to dig into some really tough topics to see what the Bible says about them. I will focus on minor things as if they were major things. At this stage I will be certain to assume the gospel. My goal here will be to get people’s eyes off of the gospel and the kingdom of God and on to certain “important issues”.
There are natural differences within every local expression of the body of Christ. I would devote my time to exploiting these differences as if they were expressions of unfaithfulness rather than simply differences of opinion and personality. When I spend one on one time with people I will do everything I can to convince them I am on their side in these “important issues”. Hopefully this will begin to breed factionalism.
After I sense that people are falling into certain camps (even if one of the camps is to be disinterested in the “issues”) I would become “really grieved” by the disunity in this church. We would make a major issue about the disunity within our body, thus taking peoples eyes off Christ and firmly fixing them on one another. Prayer meetings would be set up to pray for unity. The teaching would be geared around unity. At business meetings I would suggest solutions to solving our unity problem.
After being there for about 3 years I should be a respected leader in the church. My brokenness over the disunity would make it obvious that I care deeply about the church and the people. At this point I could move into the final stage of my plan.
I will donate a large amount of money anonymously and I will be certain not to designate it. Now every opposing suggestion for using the money will be thought as “furthering disunity” and the church should split into several different groups.
Hopefully, each faction will think themselves the godly ones. This means that anyone that opposes them are the ungodly ones. The decision has to be made on where to spend the money, and one group has to win this decision. But, regardless of the decision one group will consider it ungodly. Who wants to stay in an ungodly church anyways?
I’ll probably try to stay neutral and “godly” in this whole discussion. I will make it known how broken hearted I am by this disunity. When the decision comes down on where to spend the money, I will lead the charge of leaving this ungodly place. Not even because of the decision but because of the way that everything was handled. That should successfully take all of my “godly” followers with me and those on the losing side should leave too. That which the winning side spent the money on will now become their makeshift savior and they will slowly fade away into idolatry.
That’s my rather long answer. What is yours?
Oh, and by the way this does have a point…