I have enjoyed preaching through our root values this summer. One of the most interesting parts of our congregational DNA is our colorfulness. This is the root that may need the most explanation. We are a church of strong personalities. FBC Waco has a large number of passionate leaders. When I drew the tree illustration for one of my mentors (and FBC Waco member) he laughed as I explained the colorful root and said, “Yes, that’s true.” This root is a blessing that requires a certain spiritual and emotional depth. Untended, our colorfulness is a liability. Strong leadership must be wed to civility, wisdom, and forgiveness.
            Martin Marty once observed, “One of the real problems in modern life is that the people who are good at being civil often lack strong convictions and the people who have strong convictions often lack civility.” We need to be passionate and civil. Kindness and gentleness are fruit of the Spirit. If we live in the Spirit of Jesus we will be civil. Church conflicts often occur because Christians think bluntness should have been listed as spiritual fruit. It was not.
            Civil behavior is born of wisdom. We can measure this by judging the words we use. R.T. Kendall once encouraged his congregants at Westminster Chapel to use an acrostic to help them decide when and how to speak to each other. The acrostic was NEED. N – Is it necessary? E- Does it emancipate? E- Does it energize? D – Does it dignify? These questions help strong people remain strong and stay out of trouble.
            When we bump into one another in our attempts to do the Lord’s work we need to be quick to apologize and quick to forgive. Forgiveness is God’s gift and plan for a broken world. Jesus modeled it and has called us to follow in his steps.
            I am grateful for the strong personalities in FBC Waco. We are not a boring group of folks. We have members that know how to be great in a legion of areas. This means we have a special obligation to be good.

Copyright © Broken Steeple