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?
Here is how I would do it:
I would spend the first year or so building good relationships with a diverse number of people. My goal would be discovering what the church is most passionate about. During this time I will “become all things to all people” so as to destroy the whole lot. Their passions would become my passions. With such passion it shouldn’t be difficult to move into a leadership position, like teaching a Sunday school class.
With my new Sunday school class I will begin by digging into the really tough topics. We will lead our class through seeing what the Bible says about them. During this time I will focus on minor things as if they are major things. The gospel will be assumed. My goal will be to get people’s eyes off of the gospel and the kingdom of God and onto these “important issues”.
Just as in any church there will be natural differences of opinion within the body of Christ. I will devote my energy to exploiting these differences. In time I will lead people to view these different expressions as unfaithfulness instead of simply differences of opinion or personality.
When I spend one-on-one time with people I use all my charm to convince them that I am on their side in these “important issues”. It doesn’t matter what side I really take on these important issues so long as I can breed factionalism I have succeeded.
People should begin falling into certain camps. (Even if one of the camps is to be disinterested in the “issues”). Once this happens I will find an opportunity to express my grief at all of the disunity within the church. I will now make a major issue about all of the disunity within the body, thus taking peoples eyes off of Christ and firmly fixing them on one another. We will even begin prayer meetings to start praying for God to help us with our disunity. I will do everything I can to get the pastor to start preaching on unity. I’ll even come up with a 5 step plan to resolve 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. The only stipulation will be that the money must be used to advance the ministry of the church, and it must be used in full within the next two years.
Because of all the “disunity” in the church every suggestion for using the money will be met with suspicion. Whenever people disagree on how to spend the money (as they likely will) they will be accused of “furthering disunity”. The church should split into several 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…