10 Ways to Deal with Church Drama

10 Ways to Deal with Church Drama

We would never willingly get involved in negative drama at church. I love my church, and many of you would say the same about yours. But when a friend in the next row leans over and asks what I thought about the Sunday school lesson this morning before suggesting that the teacher didn’t seem prepared, it’s easy for both of us to get caught in the snare of church drama.

Negative talk is not a reflection of the church as a whole. The church is filled with imperfect people, each one at a different place in our journey. So church drama should not be a reason to give up on church; instead, let’s view it as an opportunity to do better. Here are 10 ideas for dealing with church drama. Following these tips will help us build a loving community within our church that uplifts and encourages one another.

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  • 1. Pray for Wisdom First

    1. Pray for Wisdom First

    “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (James 1:5 NLT).

    Anytime we are faced with a dilemma involving members of our church, we should take our petition to God in prayer before anything else. We may be tempted to talk to a close friend about the situation, but we can always find solace in those private conversations with God. Before taking any action, take the situation to the Lord. He will give the wisdom we need when we ask Him.

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  • 2. Talk to Your Pastor

    2. Talk to Your Pastor

    “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17 ESV).

    Because he is the shepherd of the flock, the pastor needs to know about dissention among the sheep. Ignoring drama can lead to devastating consequences. “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another” (Galatians 5:15-16 NLT). Sheep who continue to bite at one another will destroy each other in the end. 

    The pastor loves the church and desires to see its people grow in God’s Word and care for one another. As the ordained leader of the church, we can go to our pastor for help discerning God’s truth in any situation. 

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  • 3. Pray for the Health of Your Church

    3. Pray for the Health of Your Church

    “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10 NIV).

    The prophet Ezekiel spoke words from the Lord that take us straight to the simple foundation of faith: “It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine” (Ezekiel 17:8 NIV). The church needs good soil so we can fulfill our purpose to bear good fruit. Let’s pray for our soil to stay nourished with the purity of Christ. With healthy ground, free from weeds or turmoil, our church will continue to flourish.

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  • 4. Let Peace Be with You

    4. Let Peace Be with You

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV).

    Jesus gave us His peace, and He longs for us to live peaceably with each other. But is that even possible in a world brewing with so many differing opinions, political beliefs, and attitudes? 

    Paul encourages us to strive for peace: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).  Paul saw unfathomable turbulence in his time on earth. Let’s allow his Holy Spirit-inspired words to give us hope. He sought to live at peace with everyone, and so can we.

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  • 5. Know When to Mind Your Own Business

    5. Know When to Mind Your Own Business

    “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 NLT).

    Your women’s group may get together and decide to reach out to a single mom at church who is struggling to make ends meet. Maybe the group chooses to help her with meals, watch the kids, or send messages of encouragement. There are times like this when we feel the Holy Spirit guide us toward getting involved in someone else’s life, but there are also times when we need to mind our own business. It is our job to know the difference.

    As Christians, we have a genuine desire to help others. We long to share the love of Jesus with a hurting world. We have to be careful that we do not step where God has not called us to be. The Holy Spirit will help us discern the difference between serving and interfering.

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  • 6. When in Doubt, Resist Repeating

    6. When in Doubt, Resist Repeating

    “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops” (Proverbs 26:20 NLT).

    In our society of constant communication, words are in abundance.  A barrage of texts, emails, and instant messages come at us with little relief. It’s hard to keep my mouth closed when I feel pressured to respond right away or to share what I’ve heard. But the best way to make sure my words don’t stray into dangerous territory is to not say anything at all.

    The next time we are confronted with a potentially hurtful conversation, we can take a step back, breathe, and think before repeating. Those few minutes of listening to God can douse a possible wildfire of words better than any water ever could.

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  • 7. Only Speak Words That Benefit Others

    7. Only Speak Words That Benefit Others

    “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV).

    I remember as a child hearing my grandmother say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That old saying still carries truth, and with the added struggles stemming from social media in today’s world, we need it now more than ever.

    I wish I could take back all the times when hurtful words escaped my mouth. The verse above speaks a clear message about our words’ ability to tear others down. We should never let anything unwholesome come out of our mouths. By following this truth, we can completely change the environment of our churches.

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  • 8. Demonstrate Kindness

    8. Demonstrate Kindness

    “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).

    As we grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus, I pray we will remember who we were when He first found us. I also pray that we will refrain from judging others if we hear they are instigating drama at church. It is not our job to judge. Blame and accusations only cause more damage. 

    What if we happen to be on the receiving end of that drama? It’s difficult, but we must forgive - just like Christ forgave us. Forgiveness has the power to transform parched ground into fertile soil again.

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  • 9. Walk Away from Negative Conversations When You're Tempted to Join in

    9. Walk Away from Negative Conversations When You're Tempted to Join in

    “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (Proverbs 18:21 NLT).

    Let’s be honest - we love to chat with our friends. We talk about the weather, the sports scores, and what’s going on in our communities; however, be aware that a conversation can take a downward turn when we least expect it. For this reason, we must alway be prepared. 

    When we sense the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper of warning ahead, it’s time to step away. A simple “please excuse me for a moment” will work wonders. Let’s not fear hurting someone’s feelings. Know when it’s time to walk away from the conversation.

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  • 10. Set an Example of a Drama-Free Life

    10. Set an Example of a Drama-Free Life

    “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV).

    As we seek God’s guidance through the ups and downs of church drama, let’s remember this message: The best way to show Christ’s love within our church is to live out the instruction found in His Word. 

    Let’s search our hearts as we focus on these 10 verses. Choose with me to set an example of living a drama-free life. Letting our light shine before others will glorify our Heavenly Father, and a church that glorifies God will grow to become a welcoming, loving community. 

    Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart who teaches about God’s powerful, relatable Word. She is the author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Kristine writes about her God-story and helps others discover their own at www.kristinebrown.net. Connect with Kristine on Facebook and Twitter

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