Originally Published: April 13, 2017 6 a.m.
Dear Annie: My husband and I live in a small town and belong to a small church, which is struggling. I like our minister, but a lot of people do not and have left our church for other churches, including a megachurch in a nearby town. It is hard to compete with that!
But several months ago, I found out that it is not just because of the minister. A couple in our church have been running people off. They are involved in everything and are rude to other people and downright mean to the minister. I started watching their behavior, and I am just amazed that people who act this way can call themselves Christians. Their behavior is getting worse as the months go by.
We are going to be sharing a minister starting in July because we cannot afford to pay a full-time one any longer. He is already a minister at a church in a nearby town. I was hoping that would be an end to our problems, but now I am not so sure. A few weeks ago, the wife left in the middle of the service, angry over something. She sat in the car the rest of the service. Her husband always runs the computer during worship and thinks no one else can do it right, but last Sunday, they were both gone and someone else did it just fine.
She wrote a post on Facebook about how they attended the church where our future minister already preaches. “Awesome message! So refreshing,” were her comments. My greatest fear -- and I am not alone -- is that they are trying to get in good with the new minister before he even gets to our church. I am hoping that he is smart enough to see through these people. My question is: Should someone discuss these people with him, or should we just pray and hope for the best? — Trying to Save Our Church
Dear Trying: I’ll answer your question with another: What would Jesus do? By all indications, he would turn the other cheek and pray for this couple, showing them only mercy and kindness. Everyone is on a different path when it comes to faith and worship. If the couple are driven by ego and attention, that is between them and God. It is not something you need to worry about and resolve. These types of things always have a way of working themselves out. If they are truly being fake and kissing up to the minister, he will probably see through that.
Dear Annie: I agreed with your advice to “Always a Bridesmaid, Now a Bride,” whose sisters-in-law had all chosen her as a bridesmaid and who was deciding whether to use them as bridesmaids or to use four of her friends. You said the writer should do the former, but you did not tell her what to do with her friends. She should use them to help out in other areas of the wedding — serving punch, cutting cake, being greeters and so on. They could even help with the decorations and bouquets. — Em
Dear Em: Great idea, and help with preparation would no doubt be beneficial for brides and grooms on a budget.
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