Relationships in a Growing Church

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Sun, Jan 13, 2019

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Broken Relationships Scripture: James 5:19-20 & 1 Timothy 3:1-7

JANUARY 13, 2019

Broken Relationships



There are 3 areas we are going to look at:
- Relationships Changing in the Church
- Reaching Out as a Church
- Responding to Leaders in the Church





There are 59 times in the New Testament where it says “one another” or “each other” talking about relationships in the church.

1. “...Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
2. “...Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
3. “...Love one another...” (John 13:34)
4. “...Love one another...” (John 13:34)
5. “...Love one another...” (John 13:35)
6. “...Love one another...” (John 15:12)
7. “...Love one another” (John 15:17)
8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love...” (Romans 12:10)
9. “...Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
10. “Live in harmony with one another...” (Romans 12:16)
11. “...Love one another...” (Romans 13:8)
12. “...Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you...” (Romans 15:7)
14. “...Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss...” (Romans 16:16)
16. “...When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
17. “...Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
18. “...Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
20. “...Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each will be destroyed by each other.”
(Galatians 5:15)
22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
23. “Carry each other’s burdens...” (Galatians 6:2)
24. “...Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another...” (Ephesians 4:32)
26. “...Forgiving each other...” (Ephesians 4:32)
27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
29. “...In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
30. “Do not lie to each other...” (Colossians 3:9)
31. “Bear with each other...” (Colossians 3:13)
32. “...Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
33. “Teach...[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
34. “...Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
35. “...Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
36. “...Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
37. “...Encourage each other...”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
38. “...Encourage each other...” I Thessalonians 5:11)
39. “...Build each other up...” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
40. “Encourage one another daily...” Hebrews 3:13)
41. “...Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
42. “...Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
43. “...Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
44. “Don’t grumble against each other...” (James 5:9)
45. “Confess your sins to each other...” (James 5:16)
46. “...Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
47. “...Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
48. “...Live in harmony with one another...” (I Peter 3:8)
49. “...Love each other deeply...” (I Peter 4:8)
50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others...” (I Peter 4:10)
52. “...Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another...”(I Peter 5:5)
53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
54. “...Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
55. “...Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
56. “...Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
57. “...Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
58. “...Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
59. “...Love one another.” (II John 5)


Sometimes people try to know everyone in the church and only have surface-level friendships or they end up wearing themselves out.

When we try to be best friends with everyone, we end up being best friends with no one.

Even Jesus had different friend circles:

  • The One Jesus Loved: John
  • Inner Circle: Peter, James, and John
  • Disciples: 12 he spent most of his time with
  • Outskirt Friends: Mary, Martha, Lazarus, etc
  • 300 other close followers
  • Everyone he came in contact with



Sometimes we are so consumed with our stuff, that we fail to come to church or life group prepared to invest in someone else.

The consumerism mentality leads to people not really living life together, and being “church friends.”  Part of being a good friend is coming ready to serve instead of being served.

Colossians 3:16
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.


Sometimes we fake this whole church thing, and we purposely slip between the cracks.

No matter how good or bad a church is, it’s easier to hide when there are 2,000 people in the room than when there are 200.  And it's much easier to hide when there are 200, than when there are 20. That whole list of “One Another” verses really doesn’t work when you’re hiding, and it’s not possible to do those with other people when they are hiding either.

When it comes to the church, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. If you are a fake and hide who you really are, you will feel like we are fake and hiding things too.


Sometimes we assume people will pursue us, but we don’t pursue them.

Instead of de-isolating ourselves and pursuing relationships, we get down on ourselves.  You need to pursue other people!




As we grow as a church, we need to be all the more serious about reaching people with the Gospel.

James 5:19-20
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


Sometimes we focus so much on taking care of each other that we forget our mission to reach the lost.

When the church is 50 people, it’s pretty easy to do upkeep and make sure everyone is taken care of.  But, when the church is 150 people, it’s easy to focus so much on the people in the church that we forget about people outside of the church.


Sometimes we get so wrapped up in Christian culture, that we forget to be friends with lost people.

One of the ways that the Enemy is most effective is when he makes us think we need to stick together and never venture out of our church community because it’s safer.

Go out of your way to intwine your lives with people who are lost!


Sometimes we assume that as the church gets bigger, everyone else is sharing the Gospel so we don't need to as much.

When we talk about sharing the Gospel with people, this isn't just for leaders in the church, outgoing people, or people with experience in sharing the Gospel.  The size of the church does not dictate your Biblical responsibility for seeking out the lost… If you are a Christian, YOU have a responsibility to seek out the lost.

Psalm 96:3
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.




1 Timothy 3:1-7
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.


Sometimes people assume the Lead Pastor can know everyone really well.

My goal is to know as many people personally as possible, but it’s just not possible for me to know every intimate detail about every person’s life in our church.  I wish it was, but it's not.

Dunbar’s Number:
The idea is that humans cannot have more than 150 friends due to limitations of brain size, attention span, and the amount of time to nurture close friendships.

5 people: best friends
15 people: close friends
35 people: good deep relationships
150 people: people considered friends
500 people: people you know well
1500 people: people you have some relationship with

As we grow bigger, life group leaders can and will go deep with their groups and pastor the people in their groups.


Sometimes we hold a pastor or a leader on a pedestal and don’t give them grace to fail.

All of our leaders are imperfect people. As we grow, we need to make sure we are still giving them room to grow instead of demanding perfection out of them.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.


Sometimes we assume we’re not needed anymore, and someone else will “take care of it.”

If we volunteer less, give less, disciple people less, and try less as we grow, God will do less in our church.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Don’t assume that there is a leader that is going to take care of something, step up and BE the leader that takes care of something.

Connection Card

  1. I will seek to have a healthy balance of close friends and other friends in the church.

  2. I will make focusing on the lost a priority, even as the needs of people around me grow.

  3. I will work to have a healthy expectation of the leaders in the church and will look for ways I can help.


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