I am not a preacher, so I can't give you the sermon here unfortunately, though I may have it somewhere on cassette tape lol. The point of the sermon was simply that, God establishes leadership in the church. He has a plan and a vision for the church. There is an order to obtaining that vision. Men must seek God for that vision, otherwise each leader will have a different vision, or 'di-vision' will exist. Of course, we have Pastors to seek God's will and direction for a church. That is great! And, we have leadership in other 'rooms' of the church, if I may use the word rooms in the literal sense for a moment. We have a worship leader, a youth leader, a children's ministry leader, a Sunday School leader... etc. The people leading in these other rooms have to seek God for a vision for their department, yet it must be inside the vision of the Pastor for the church as a whole, in the same sense that you exercise leeway in your job execution, but within the direction and oversight of your boss at work.
You may not like one of the sentenses in the second paragraph above. You may dislike them all. I don't know. But, they are true and Biblical. If they bother you, you may not want to keep reading, because the next paragraph will become more troubling. I promise, whether you are a Minister or a layman or a pew-sitter. The word room, as used in the sermons I mentioned, was used figuratively, in reference to a leader's place in the church leadership structure, hence the title 'Rooms and Offices.' I do not remember any of the texts or verses this title came from, and that is my bad :) But, I do remember the story in the Bible where the sons of the Priest, Uzza and Ahio, drove the cart pulling the ark to take it back to Israel. Their job was to drive the cart. As they were driving in this parade, the oxen leading the cart stumbled, so Uzza reached out his hand as if to steady the ark. He was just supposed to be driving the cart. The ark was special, and of religious significance. The Jews did not touch the ark, because it was held in reverence since it symbolized the presence of God. Only the High Priests touched the ark. They put it on the cart. They were to take it off. But, it had been in the house of the priest until David had claimed it, so it seems the boys had grown up with it at their place, and had come to take it as common furniture. Their attitude toward it was as if you would toss a book on a table, rather than gently sit a computer on a table. I realize some people do not see a reason to reverence objects. But, we all reverence cash, keeping it safe in our wallets, and counting it out preciously when we are buying something. So, I would say yes, some items should be treated respectfully, such as a church building, and a church chair.
There have been cases in history where churches have been burned. I don't understand this. I, for one, am one of those people who would fear to be the person who burned a church. I love God, and God's judgement is something most Christians don't like to think about, and most don't expect to ever have to witness. But, I just could not be cavalier enough to think man should brazenly challenge God. God has a place. The universe belongs to Him. He created it. I recognize that I am His. Therefore, I tremble and fear when I am next to someone who is cursing God, or damaging a church, or... you get my point. God's place is to be respected.
Back to Uzza... God struck him dead. It was not acceptable for Uzza to put his hand on the ark. How many times today do we think we need to put our hands to the spot it doesn't belong in the church? I read a pair of articles on leadership that represent this struggle of vision in a church. How to Fix Your Preacher in 10 Easy Steps, and 10 Compelling Reasons Not to Resign. Do yourself a favor and don't read either of these if you are not going to read both. They are really bookend articles, or facets of a two-sided problem. Basically, when we do either of these two things, we are 'putting our hand to the cart.' I realize the first article can be taken as cheeky and intended to point out that if you get behind the pastor, you might realize he doesn't need fixing. But, there are legitimate complaints in churches that are directed towards Pastors. It's just that I don't believe they should be directed toward the Pastor, but to God.
My husband and I tend to see eye-to-eye on most issues... unless it comes to picking out a movie sometimes :) That doesn't always go over well, as our tastes and interests in videos differ. I can watch a documentary with rapt attention on the edge of my seat. It might kill him to be subjected to that. I also love to watch dramas, but he uses the name, "chik-fliks." So we disagree there and often have to compromise. But, back to the point above, when someone does something that they should not have done, or should not be doing, and it is hurtful, my approach is to pray about it, and tell God it hurts. Now that Larry is around, I tend to tell him too, because I like him a lot lol. He says I should confront the person, and tell them. I disagree, because basically not everything needs to be confronted. And, maybe I am a little afraid of confrontation. He just lets most things roll off his back, but when he sees things are really wrong, he will confront the issue simply stated.
Besides, I would rather let God handle it. He does a better job, and He sees the big picture, where I only see my side. If I put my hand to it, when it is not my business, I will mess things up. Matthew 18:7 There is a very thin line between being offended and attacking. If you look at the word offense, it is like a double-edged sword. I've heard it preached before that we shouldn't be offended ever, using the text Psalms 119:165 as a reason. But, if you put the two verses together, you see that we will get offended. Looking at the football terminology for offense and defense, I see that offense is the attacking position, and defense is a deflecting position. In neither position does the player necessarily lose points. That's the thing about offenses that become a danger. We have to be careful when we are offended to not get on the offense, otherwise we may find ourselves the offenders. In the church, we are all God's children. If someone feels their position gives them carte blanc to run over, or bully others in leadership, or sitting on a pew, then that does not give me the right to jump to offense in defense. Defense doesn't mean offending. This sounds like a tongue-twister, but if your tongue is involved, it will get even more twisted. So, I try to keep my mouth in the closed position when offended. (It doesn't always work out.)
I've brutalized the message of 'Rooms & Offices.' But, the general idea we should carry away is that sometimes we just need to 'go to our room' and cool down when someone is conducting church business all by themselves. This happens sometimes. I noticed in the passage about Uzza that David did nothing to Uzza when he touched the ark. God handled it. Let me give the reference now, since I didn't before. :)
1 Chronicles 13:9 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
*Note: I apologize here for the cliches. I realize they are probably over done. But, I needed them like crutches, since I couldn't duplicate the sermon. Maybe one day I will find a copy. Good writers don't need cliches, because they have original ideas. Perhaps, I should have asked someone else to write this as a guest blog for me? Hhhmmmnnn... now that's a thought.