In the world there are the evangelized, un-evangelized and unreached.
In the church there are believers, followers and disciples.
Between the two there are the unchurched and the dechurched.
The unchurched are believers who don’t attend a church.
The dechurched are believers who quit, were hurt or disconnected.
Church hurt is perceived, actual or imagined damage, offence, pain, or disappointment experienced by a person, family or group by a congregation, core leadership team or leader of a faith community. — Dr. La Fayette Scales
One of the enemies of the faith community is offence.
- Offence is one the greatest sources of church hurt.
We are warned about offence by Jesus.
NKJ Matthew 18:7 “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Offences are events, statements or attacks meant to make one stumble.
- Offence is something that outrages the moral or physical
- Offence is the act of attacking or an assault on someone.
Offence can be intentional or unintentional.
Offence is inevitable. Matthew 18:7
- Offenders carry a heavy judgement. Matthew 18:6
KJV Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
We are taught to resolve conflict and offence quickly. Matthew 18:15-18
Resolve conflict, trespass and offence biblically.
Negotiation, mediation and arbitration are a biblical pattern of resolution.
- We must teach people to resolve conflict.
Some solutions to offence.
Do your best, by the Spirit of God, to give no offence.
NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
Never intentionally offend anyone.
- Recognize when you are offended.
- Be forgiving and teach disciples to forgive.
- Seek to reconcile relationships.
- Seek to offence proof your life. Psalm 119:165
KJV Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.