Reading James in the wee hours when most sensible people are fast asleep, and got to the point about favouritism. It got me thinking about all the different aspects of church life and how favouritism can creep up on us when we are not really expecting it or even in most cases looking for it. How about who we talk to after church sipping our much needed cup of coffee? What about who we vote for as elder/deacon/warden etc.? Do we just vote for the person we like the most, and don’t look for the qualities needed for this overworked but awesome role? How about who we pray for, sit next to, go visit during the week?

I know I have been guilty of this many times and up until recently haven’t given it too much thought. Looking back at the last few years, I can see how favouritism has led most of my actions in a few areas. Lets be honest, praying for, sitting next to, or even voting for our friends sits so much more at ease with us than the honesty of saying that actually I will be sitting next to someone who has no friends, praying for another person who needs it more, or that I am voting for the other person because at this time they are more suited to the role (though maybe explaining that if the time was right or we felt it was more Spirit led next time we would vote for them!!).

I am trying to sit in different areas of the church each week, trying to sit with different people, or at least trying to! I am not better than anyone else, or even think I am (believe me, I’m no where near it!), but try not to get in a rut that a particular seat is mine and no one else can sit there!! It does make it much easier to talk to different people, and if your church is bigger, to identify newcomers.

I am very blessed to belong to a church that fairly openly discourages cliques, but they can develop very easily. Being on the outside of cliques myself, I know how isolating and unfriendly they can be. Without meaning to, they can make unsure or shy/quiet members feel they are not wanted or not welcome. I try to move from group to group, and know most of my church do the same to ensure that we are as welcoming and friendly as possible.

I am not criticising anyone, or how any church is run. These are just my thoughts from the other side of the pulpit.


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