Recently I preached at one of our churches at their Saturday night service. After the service, someone handed me an envelope with my name on it. The envelope had been placed in the offering plate. It contained a three-page letter outlining concerns regarding the pastor of another church in the area. The letter was unsigned.
Bishop Ron Ramsey and I have an agreed-upon policy regarding unsigned letters. We toss them. Not that we callously desire to ignore people’s concerns. There are times when people may have legitimate concerns that should be addressed. But sending an anonymous note to the Bishop (or a pastor or board member) violates the principles of Scripture. If I have a problem with a brother, I need to go to him. The whole process is outlined in Matthew 18.
It is also unfair to throw out criticism (and many times venomous accusations) against someone and not be willing to face them or discuss it with them. I often wonder if the writers of these notes would want the same done to them.
So if you want to raise a concern with us regarding what is happening in one of our churches, you must understand two things.
- Sign your name or it will be tossed without any action.
- If you sign your name, be prepared to answer in the affirmative that you have gone to the pastor yourself with your concern before writing to us.
We must follow Matthew 18 in our relationships with each other or we are no better than the world around us. And we give Satan the opportunity to have a foothold in the life of our church.