They may not sit in the back row. In fact many times they sit closest to the front. Most would say they are “Faithful” as they seldom miss a service. They appear to be the backbone of the church. They pay their tithes. They dress right. They look right, but once you really get to know them, you find that they are the Back Row Bullies of the church.
These people all too often run the church. They decide who is going to do what. They decide how loud the music is and what color the walls of the sanctuary are going to be. Little happens in the church that they don’t know about and don’t in some great way influence the out come of. Theirs is a mission. Theirs is a job that nobody else will do. Without them they know that the church would fall apart. They are the Back Row Bullies.
No one is quite sure how they gained such influence. Maybe it has to do with the amount of money they gave at one time or even still. They may have family within the church whom they have great influence over. Their measure of sacrifice is probably great, but nonetheless, they are Back Row Bullies.
We all know what a bully is. It’s someone who pushes their weight/influence/resources around to cause you to do something you would not ordinarily do. Let me break that down a bit. You ordinarily would not put up with someone creating division in the church behind your back, but since they give so much money… You otherwise would not allow them to have the position in the church that they have, but because their influence over so many in the church is strong…
You would yank that person out of that class, office, position, platform in a New York minute if only… (You finish that sentence.)
When I was a child growing up on the playground I found that there is only one way to handle a bully. You have to confront him. You have to get right in his face with as many people watching as possible. You have to be willing to go all the way with this confrontation. You might get your lights knocked out or you might get a chance to see the bully cower, but win or lose, you are about to gain the honor and confidence of every kid on the playground.
Are you tired of being bullied? Are you exhausted with trying to keep the peace or to cast vision, only to have the Back Row Bully come along and stymie everything you are trying to do? When was the last time you preached a message that you were not concerned as to who it offended? When was the last time you removed someone from office without worrying if it was going to cause a church split?
Men and Women of God who are truly called of God and know it, do not care about bullies. Theirs is a mission from God. Their agenda has nothing to do with small minded politics or Back Row Bullies. They know that their calling and election is sure and no one and nothing is going to stand in the way of what God has called them to do. Either God has called them to that church or He hasn’t.
It’s Elijah facing off with Ahab and Jezebel. It’s Moses in Pharos court. It’s Samuel telling Saul he just lost his kingdom because he offered the sacrifice when he should have been waiting on the man of God. It’s men and women of God who declare ‘Thus Saith The Lord!”.
If you are going to face off with the bully of the church, you better be prepared to see them leave. You need to have fixed in your mind the possibility that they may do their very worst. However, many times, they back down. Most often still, the saints of the church have also grown very weary of the bully and will rally around anyone who will have the courage to accept the bullies challenge. You may find that the support of the church you have longed for, for so long, will be right there when you face off with the bully.
Don’t challenge this bully without prayer and intercession for their soul behind you. But don’t delay either. In delaying, you are giving them more time to hinder your effectiveness which will cause others to lose confidence in you.
Yours is a high calling. The approval you need does not come from any man. It comes from God alone.