In any institution it is normal that certain people will be very committed to the vision and methodology of that institution, whilst others are not committed at all (and there will be people somewhere between the two). This can most definitely be the case in respect of churches. This is particularly the case when there is a new thrust of direction in the church. Some buy into what is happening and some resent it. It is normally the leadership that are responsible, under God, for that new direction. And as a result a group is likely to arise who are effectively the core supporters among the membership for the vision and methodology of the church.
If you believe that the vision and methodology of the church, that you have established is God originated through the study and preaching of the Word and the Lord directing the way through His Spirit, then you would want the church to carry forward in that direction. The core support within the church will be essential in maintaining that movement. This is particularly so in a church because of the realities of spiritual battles. We have an enemy who wants to prevent any godly progress in a church. Without people in a church who are bound in to progressing in a godly way then the church is likely to be diverted from God’s call. Church leaders need then to nurture the core support in the church so that the church is bolstered in a wholesome way.
However, leaders should not neglect those who are disaffected or indifferent among the membership. We must remember that we serve a Great Shepherd as under-shepherds. We remember that He, our Lord Jesus, is the Shepherd who goes out and seeks that which was lost (see Luke 15:3-7). We demonstrate our unfitness for ministry if we ignore the wandering sheep and just minister to those who are on our side.
There danger is a danger here though and that is of becoming obsessive with chasing the wandering and forget about the solid core base of the church. If we are ignoring those who are committed to what the church is about, then there is a danger that they will be alienated. As a result we may end up losing everybody and the church flounders on the rocks of general disaffection.
(This post follows-on from my post of June 20th about Mrs May and Leadership – see here)