Lateral Submission

Dear Church Family,

Greetings in Jesus’ name!


Over the years as your pastor, which I believe is a great privilege, I have noticed a struggle in “lateral submission.” Let me give you an example of “lateral submission.” If I ask someone to do something, they will do it. If another leader asks the same someone to do the same thing, it creates a problem.


Over the years we have had many events such as work days, decorating for Christmas, etcetera that may not be attended as well as they should have been. I have been asked to make sure that my name is on the sign-up sheets for those events because if people think I am not going to be there they are less likely to show up. That is probably not the case with every person every time, however, we have observed this phenomenon enough, over the years to know that it is true. 


I believe the pastor—and his family for that matter—should provide a good example. However, please understand that, ultimately, you are not accountable to me only. We are ultimately accountable to Christ for our behavior, our example and our treatment of others, and we are accountable to one another as well.


A couple of observations. First, we should be involved in church events as much as possible. I realize that everyone cannot attend every event, but that should be more of an exception than it is a rule. Also, some outreach events simply do not need everyone there because people standing around visiting because they do not have an assignment can distract from the event’s mission. Generally speaking, however, many hands make light work. Also, leaders have less liberty in determining what they will or will not attend. If you are a leader, you are expected to be there if at all possible.


Second, we should all function in a spirit of cooperation and teamwork regardless of who may ask us to do something or help do something. I understand that many of us have important tasks to do at church and lives to live outside of the church building. However, helping-hand manners are always a blessing. If you are asked to do something, it is ok to ask why or how best to do it, just do so without an attitude. We all get to live together as part of the family of God and we all have a role in building the Kingdom of God and Tree of Life. Let’s make sure we are functioning in a way that makes living together as easy as possible.


I call you blessed,