Grace is the key element for any Church/Type Organization. I use the qualifier because not all groups that claim to be a church actually fulfill the divine mandates to be a church or to be part of the Kingdom Band on Earth called the Church. A group filled with grace (unmerited favor of God, so powerfully transmitted to the forgiven they cannot help but forgive, love, show compassion and self sacrifice) is a church and could be part of the Church. An organization devoid of grace cannot be a church, no matter how it calls itself.
A group is in need of grace if:
- Staff members who serve are viewed as hired hands, not called workers and are routinely dismissed with prejudice, in such a way to damage the staff worker’s reputation;
- Group leadership positions of importance are routinely occupied by persons who show no fruit of the Spirit in their own lives;
- Group leadership positions of importance are routinely filled with persons who do not attend faithfully, contribute obediently or support spiritual overseers without troubling the overseer ;
- New persons attempting to enter the Group are forced to assimilate into an established clique or become obedient to the clique, or face harassment tantamount to bullying;
- Decisions for the Group are routinely made apart from the specified legal channels, i.e., in small, informal meetings with key persons absent, no minutes kept, by groups exercising authority in areas where they have no legal standing;
- If the behaviors listed above are repeated chronically, so as to give evidence these are not mere errors in judgement but are habits, unholy, ungodly, unbiblical habits, then your group is in need of grace and has either forgotten how to be the Church or failed to be the Church in the first place.
If persons are invited into such a group for any reason, they must go with their eyes opened, fully aware they are entering a group, a social type club or a clique. I will not call it a mafia, as some do, because that is unfair to the mafia, which, if it exists at all, does exactly what it claims to do without resort to religious utterances to mask its operations.