Nobody likes a complainer. Every church has a few – those whose “glass is half empty.” They are never satisfied. They gripe about the weeds in the landscaping, complain that the pastor preaches too long, and they can’t stand the new music. They’re irritated by the children who make noise in church and say the youth group disrespects God because they wear blue jeans.
Sometimes complainers work their way into the church board. They pour discouragement on the leaders like water on a fire. They are a pastor’s worst nightmare. Yeah, everyone knows – or has known – a person like this.
Complainers are often consumers. They want everything their way. They have an inflated opinion of their own opinion. It is an issue of spiritual insecurity and weak faith development.
Since complainers exist in every church, it is hard to identify a move of God we’ve seen in churches over the last few years. Most pastors aren’t even aware of this major spiritual movement…yet!
Focus on these issues:
- When we work with churches, we conduct one-on-one, confidential interviews. It’s amazing what you learn, as an outsider, when you promise not to share who said what! Several years ago, we began noticing a trend. We began to see an increasing number of church leaders who shared frustration about their churches. These, however, are not “complainers.” They are mature Christians, heavily involved in their churches. They love their pastors and generously support God’s work. They have not shared their frustrations, because they don’t want to hurt the church. They remain strong in Bible study and are committed to outreach.
- This is what they say: “I wish our church could do more.” “I’d like our church to be more effective.” “It seems like there should be more people in worship.” “Our church should have a greater role in our community.” “It seems like Christianity should have greater impact on our culture.” “If this nation continues the way it’s going, spiritually, I fear it’s not going to be a very good place for my grandchildren.” Question: have you ever, privately, had these thoughts? If so, brace yourself for a new insight.
- These are not the thoughts of chronic complainers. Through an act of God, they have “holy discontent” or “spiritual restlessness.” Studying the history of revivals (and having worked with several overseas), I have noticed that when God raises people with “spiritual restlessness,” it represents an early stage of “awakening.” This is a spiritual “wake-up call” for the church. It is a spiritual renewal, a reinvigoration of spiritual health. It includes back-to-basics-biblical Christianity. Those with “holy discontent” are “early adopters,” the pioneers. They are those who God has chosen to encourage and influence others in the church. They are selected by the Holy Spirit.
- The key for every church is to organize those who have been touched with this “holy restlessness.” Some may be among the leadership of the church. Many are not. I recommend you organize them into a Vision Team. Begin to focus their “holy restlessness” toward spiritual strategies to prepare your church for a revival in the land. For most churches, that will take a minimum of two years. So start now! Get ready!
The evidence is clear: God is on the move in North America.
How does your church organize people with holy restlessness? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.