One of the Scriptures you won’t find in a memory box or on a fridge magnet is:
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 Thess. 4.11
Yet one of the most important things we can do as Christians is mind our own business. We have a lot of people in many churches who are not so much busy but busybodies. Poking their nose where it doesn’t belong and causing mischief.
It generally leads to manipulation and bullying. The fruit of the spirit isn’t other control, it’s self control! We are not called to workout everyone else’s salvation, but to work out our salvation.
As a pastor one of the areas in which you need great wisdom is in knowing what is your business and what is not. If it is your business, then get involved and do what needs to be done. If it is not your business, shut your mouth.
Here are three clues to what is your business and what is not:
1. What you originate is your business. The children that you originate you should be raising! How other children are raised is not your business. The churches you plant you can rule over, the ones you didn’t you can’t.
What is happening in the church down the road is none of your business – don’t preach on it in the pulpit, don’t comment on it. If you are asked point out you don’t pastor there.
Train your department heads to take care of their departments and not try and run other departments. Train your elders to disciple their people and not get involved in other small groups. Train people to not get offended that you do not gossip over what is none of their business.
2. What you pay for you are responsible for. I once was holding some healing meetings and a man came who wanted to pray for people. I didn’t let him and he got very angry and upset at me, even cursing me and praying for me to get sick. I told him when he hires the hall then he can pray for who he wants. If you are the one paying the bills then you are in charge.
A caveat is that when people give to a church they are not paying they are giving. Being a big giver does not give you the right to run the church, offering time isn’t a bill you pay it is a seed you sow. If you don’t die to your gift when you give it and think it is a way to run the church you will never have a harvest on it.
If you are not paying the bills, it is not your baby, it is not your business – get your nose out and mind your own business!
3. What you are faithful to is your business. I used to be in a church with an AGM where you could vote on who would run the church. The problem was people turned up at that meeting who never attended the church, never served, never cleaned, never helped with children’s ministry, never given a penny. But they voted on what the church would do.
Thankfully the pastor there had the sense to change that situation, but many people were offended and upset because they liked getting involved in business that they didn’t have to be faithful to.
No, what you are faithful to is your domain.
Take the time to work out what your business is and mind it. And if it’s not your business, don’t mind. And train your people in the same way.