SEA Games Complaints and Church Complaints

Sea Games Story Pages 010a6047cada4f00b50b32fb07f77341

So to clear things up first – this is not a blog to pinpoint what’s right or wrong with the SEA Games. I am with the people who encourage us to stop putting in social media our feelings about the SEA Games preparation especially if we are not involved in it.

It’s interesting to note though that there are always two sides to the story. A narrative can tell us how badly prepared we are. The other narrative tells us how we have improved in our service as host country. Another narrative tells us how bad our facilities are and the other narrative shows the beauty of the new Clark City and Rizal Stadium.

It’s what narrative that you believe makes you post on the social media the kind of content you show to the world. After seeing all these, I think there are not only two sides to the story, but three – the truth.

It reminds me of how I hear some people complain about the church. Some things you hear are so laughable yet it is a narrative (gossip) people share with others.

I’ll share some common ones. I got email years back from a visitor to the church who complained about a pastor’s preaching. She said that the pastor is not a good preacher. She then compares the new pastor of our church to a seasoned pastor who has been preaching for more than twenty years.

Here was my response:

Thank you, sister, for your email and your concern about our pastor. After reading your mail, I can agree with you on some points you have raised yet would not agree with you on many things you have raised. You see, you compared our pastor to a seasoned pastor and comparing would be unfair to him. He is a novice in preaching and to expect him to be as good as someone who has received much training through the years might not be a good thing to do. You see, I was in the same situation years past when I was starting out in ministry. People complained about my preaching but the church pastors empowered me and gave me a platform to preach – it was the only way I could improve in community. It is the same way with the pastor you are complaining about. By the way, I was wondering if you have been a long-time attendee of the church. Because as of now, the church needs all the help it could get in discipling the city. I was wondering if you could help carry the load of the church with us? If you are willing, I am very open to having coffee with you. Hoping for your response.

It’s been more than a decade and I haven’t gotten any response from her.

There are other complaints we hear from a small group of people – the worship leader cannot lead worship, the ushers are not friendly, the church is not friendly, no one talks to me, the preaching is better on the other side of town, if only we can go back in time and be a more intimate church and etc….

Some complaints could be valid yet at the same time, we realized that most of the complaints came from people who are watching people do things rather than helping us do things. I like what an elder told me, “some of the loudest people are the least active members of the church.” And the most valid concerns raised by people in the church are those who are actively involved in church.

You see, the church is not a business enterprise that tries to please its consumers. The church is the body of Christ – you and me, serving the world. The church are full of people who are not perfect, who are busy, who are serving others. Sharing your negative feelings online about the church family you belong to – not only hurts you but also hurts the body of Christ.

The narrative you believe is the narrative you will live by. So let me share mine:

The church is God’s best gift to me. I am in a covenant relationship with friends in the church. I am who I am today because of the people God gave to me. My church is not perfect yet it is a place where I want to take the risk to be vulnerable. I will not always be understood but I know I will always be loved. As a pastor, I am not as good as my last preaching. I am part of a family. Victory Greenhills is my family – you may say what you want to say about my church- good or bad but at the end of the day – it’s my family. I love this church.

Here is the truth:

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 New Living Translation (NLT)

One Body with Many Parts

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[b]

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

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