Endeavouring to build a God-glorifying biblical church community demands the uncomfortable, but necessary, task of brining correction to a brother or sister in Christ.
Here’s Jonathan Leeman‘s helpful tips for confronting a fellow church member:
2. Look for any logs in your own eye. Consider:
- What’s your purpose in confrontation—to get something off your chest and feel better, or to genuinely serve and love the person?
- Have you contributed to the problem? Have you dealt with your contribution?
3. Speak to the person alone, unless…
- It’s with a member of the opposite sex and either you or the person is married, in which case you might want to involve a spouse.
- It puts you at physical risk.
4. Generally, speak in person, not by phone or in writing.
5. Generally, use the Bible.
6. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Specifically…
- Put yourself in the person’s shoes (“Do unto others…”).
- Assume you don’t know all the facts.
- Often, ask questions.
- Often, relate your own experience first. (Remember you’re a sinner confronting a sinner.)
7. Give the person an opportunity to bring unknown sin out of the dark by…
- Asking for concrete details (“How many times would you estimate…”)
- Asking open-ended questions (“Is there anything else…”).
8. Don’t waffle, but speak directly, clearly, and succinctly. If you’re speaking for five minutes, you’re probably speaking too long.
9. Don’t manipulate with threats; control your emotions; and trust the Spirit to convict, not your presentation.
10. Keep praying and loving.