Messy Expectations

"Too often our "iron sharpening iron" looks more like a brawl with lead pipes."

- Frank Houtz, of Dry Bones Restoration Company

Many fellowships come together in joy but all too soon fly apart in frustration, fear or anger. It IS possible to address concerns before they lead to such sad division!

Several times over the past few years I have heard people remark that they don't think it is possible for any group to be in agreement, until Messiah returns, or some wording close to that. I am wondering where this is coming from, but suspect I have a pretty good idea!

In His high priestly prayer, John 17, Yeshua Himself prayed that we would be echad with one another and with Him and the Father... brief paraphrase.   I don't think He would hold that up as a goal if it were not possible, do you?  He isn't a cruel God to expect something of us that can't be done. To say otherwise seems too close to abolishing Torah by demeaning His character!

Sadly, I suspect that it is more like an "easy out" from those who are not willing to do the relational work and take the time necessary to develop a foundation for shared understanding and unity. It does not come overnight or without taking the time to work through differences in a Yeshua honoring way, but it remains possible and a goal we need to share with Messiah!

It has also saddened me so much as I have realized over the years how many people think that because they now observe Shabbat, Feasts, dietary guidelines....they show up and do these things...that this is all they need to do! It so easily becomes a legalistic observance...and they forget the long-term investment in the sanctification process that our Abba wants us to participate in.

I have said for years and years that it IS much easier to just be a teacher of whatever you feel you are understanding, without having to deal with all of those...people!  Relationships!  You can just do what you like and move on:  let them figure out the problems!

I believe that developing mature, trusting, teachable and cooperative  relationships IS the work of the Kingdom... not something that you have to quickly pass through and get on with DOING things.

Knowledge gained outside the context of relationship is only HALF of His plan for us.

So in light of that understanding, it IS important for us to understand how things can go wrong and how they can be resolved in a YHWH honoring way.

This series came about due to the questions and concerns so often expressed by fellowship leaders as well as being prompted by some of our own local community experiences.

Messianic Fellowships - "Messy" Expectations

by Barbara L. Klika, MSW, Personal Life Coach, Undershepherd, Set Apart Ministries, Inc
  • Part 1 Dealing with Disappointment (November 2010)
  • Part 2 Dealing with Disappointment (November 2010)
  • Part 3 Dealing with Division (June 2011)
  • Part 4 Finding the "Right" Group (July 2011)
  • Part 5 Dealing with Internal Resistance (June 2012)
  • Part 6 Discipleship, Spiritual Formation, Torah and Rebellion (May 2013)
  • Part 7 Community Under Pressure (April 2013)

NOTE: Part 5 deals with "self talk" and how it can go astray to cause division. You may also find a similar article about dealing with despair and discouragement of interest: "Talk to Yourself Much?"

Do you need some help to know how to recognize and address "people issues"?

Perhaps this little PowerPoint Presentation will be of some help and encouragement to you!

Clues for Shepherds.