Be courteous and considerate in everything. 1 Corinthians 14:40 (TM)
I like sitting on boards and committees about as much as I enjoy a good, stiff migraine. I do, however, understand the need for organization, and have served on many boards and committees through the years. I have been through many long evenings of discussion like that which Paul is discussing in today’s chapter.
Is it appropriate to clap in worship?
Should we clap for the musicians and singers when they are done?
Is it okay to use non-Christian musicians on the worship team?
Should we pay professional musicians to play in worship?
Should we let mediocre singers lead in worship?
Should we use the great old hymns of the faith or new praise music?
Why should we let the organ sit there unused and gathering dust?
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians was written because there were all sorts of arguments in the church. People were arguing about Lord’s Supper, about worship, and about about believers who "speak in tongues" during worship. It had gotten so contentious that believers were dragging each other into civil court with their disputes. [sigh] The more things change, the more they stay the same.
What’s interesting about Paul’s instructions is not all of the ins and outs of tongues during worship, but his summation to be "courteous and considerate in everything." It’s okay to disagree on certain things. It’s okay to be of different preferences and tastes. What is NOT okay is to treat one another discourteously or to be inconsiderate. Don’t forget that chapter before was all about extravagant love. Love should be our motivation – even in a church board meeting!
There will always be different thoughts and preferences about almost anything. Church boards and committees will continue to spend long evenings contentiously discussing minor issues as long as the church has more than one person.
Disagree, and love one another.