WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP?
According to Abraham Maslow, the need to feel belonged or involved in a relationship is a key need in the lives of every person. Adam felt lonely in the Garden of Eden, though he had everything (including God) that a man could ever ask for. The feeling of loneliness is irrespective of the number of people around you (imagine yourself in a football stadium in China when you can’t communicate with anyone because of language barrier).
In this study, we hope to discuss how best members in Providence Baptist Church can inter-relate with themselves using some godly principles from the Bible. We will take a look at a few relationships that exist in the church. The allotted time may not be enough to fully discuss the topic, but members can do further private studies after this eye-opener.
BETWEEN THE CONGREGATION & ITS PASTOR / SPIRITUAL LEADERS
Ø The Bible exhorts Christian leaders to lead exemplary lives, willing to sacrifice their lives for the welfare of their members, keeping in mind that they are supposed to be faithful stewards of God’s people. (Acts 20:28-31, 1st Peter 5:1-4, Titus 1:7-9)
Ø On the other hand, the congregation is to fully appreciate the work of its leaders / pastors. They should not cause them to be sorrowful, or to ever regret being in the Lord’s work. We are not to unnecessarily engage in activities that will bring dishonour to their names
(Hebrews 13:17, James 3:1-2, 1st Timothy 5:17-19)
AMONG THE BELIEVERS /CHURCH MEMBERS
Ø Respect & Love For Each Other (Romans 12:3- 5, 9 – 10)
We are exhorted to genuinely love each other and show genuine interest in the welfare of each person. An effective home cell group will ensure that the church is informed whenever the welfare of members change, since it is impossible for the pastor alone to take this responsibility
We have to appreciate the fact that we are all very different persons, with different gifts and different levels of maturity. We should not disrespect the ministry of others nor downplay their influence, especially for those who are not usually seen. We should celebrate our unity in diversity.
Ø No Divisions, Backbiting / Envy & Jealousy (1st Corinthians 3:3 - 9; 12:22 -27)
As much as we are to be loyal to our leaders, we are not supposed to exalt them to ‘cult’ status. Whenever this happens it becomes difficult to show loyalty to a new person who takes charge. This shows a lack of maturity on our part, and we are to desist from it. There is also no need to feel threatened by the success of a person or a group. The success or failure of one person should affect all the others
Ø Mourning & Celebration (Romans 12:15)
When genuine love exists, believers will like to partake in the joy, achievements, sorrows and heartbreaks of other members, eg weddings and funerals. The church is supposed to serve as a secondary family unit for its members, a home from the pressures in the world.
Ø Intercession (Galatians 6:1-3, Romans 14:1 -8, James 5:13 – 16)
We are to share in the weakness of weaker brethren and rather strengthen them through prayer and sound teachings. Our condemnation may cause them to lose faith.
BETWEEN THE CHURCH & ITS SOCIETY /GOVERNMENT
Ø Salt & Light (Matthew 5:12 - 16)
As salt of the earth, we are to stop the moral decay of the society, and provide alternate solutions or taste to our societies. As light, we are supposed to lead the way, and also to expose all hidden things.
Ø Respect for Authority (Romans 13:1-7)
We are supposed to respect our assembly men, traditional rulers, government appointees and the President, whether they are believers or not. We are supposed to pay all necessary taxes and dues.
Ø Prayers & Supplications (1st Timothy 2:1-3)
We are also supposed to engage in prayers and supplications for all leaders in government for them to succeed, for their success will lead to our wellbeing.
BETWEEN THE ELDERLY & THE YOUNG (MENTORSHIP)
Ø Old men are to teach young men to be sensible, teach them the basics of manhood, and be examples unto them in ministry, work, marriage and other life issues. (Titus 2:5)
Ø Old women are also to teach the young women to live godly lives and be good wives. They should teach them lessons on homecare and childcare. (Titus 2:4)
Ø The young people should consider those of the opposite sex as brothers and sisters, and also consider the elderly as mothers and fathers. (1st Timothy 5:1)
The church, also known as the Body of Christ is a called out community of believers, with Christ as the Head and all other persons as members of His Body. All the other body members are supposed to live in harmony according to the direction of the HEAD. It is expected that we will all commit to the change that we are expecting. God bless us all