I’m not a big fan of referees. Yes, I have a couple of friends that are (or have been) referees, but I’m still not a fan. They’re kind of a necessary-evil at ballgames, because you have to have them to keep things running smoothly. It’s a hard job to be a referee, but think for a second about what referees do:
- Referees don’t play the game. They are only there to point out everyone’s mistakes.
- Referees punish for mistakes and never reward for a job well done. (I’m still waiting for a ref to stop the basketball game and say, “Great pass kid, here take two free throws for that.”)
- Referees simply walk away when the game is over.
- No one cheers for the referees, nor do you hear, “Those refs were awesome tonight.”
- When the referees are gone, no one really misses them.
While referees might be necessary at our kids ballgames, the last place we need referees are in the church. Sadly, our churches are full of them. Yes, every church has problems, but the LAST thing a church needs is are “self-appointed” refs running around blowing their whistle and pointing out all the mistakes. Church referees think it’s their talent or gift from God to be critical and complain. But let me tell you … if you think criticism and complaining is your talent, then I suggest going out and burying that talent in a hole.
Just like real referees, church referees focus on mistakes and never give praise for a job well done.
Instead of being a church referee, try being someone who’s willing to get involved “in the game.” Instead of pointing out faults, mistakes and being critical, try jumping in and helping with some of the problems. Instead of just pointing out people’s problems, try providing some support and solutions.
When ballgames are over, no one ever misses the referees. Sadly, when church refs leave, no one misses them either.
So get involved in the game. Be someone who looks for solutions when problems arise. AND, try giving some praise for a job well done. That’s what our churches need.