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Friendship is a Verb (in a hurting world)


FRIENDSHIP IS A VERB
Preface
As we live-out our faith each day we encounter joys and sorrows, trials and
temptations, pleasure and pain. Sadly, some of our most traumatic life-
experiences can come from within the Christian community.
Although it may come as a shock to some of us, church leaders are human and
therefore, perfectly capable of making mistakes. Many of these mistakes are
made as fellowships seek to work out their interpretation of what God says in
Scripture (The Bible). They are important for growth, maturity and forward
movement. However, it is when leaders try to claim infallibility and take over
God’s role that the mistakes become dangerous. Pride can all too easily replace
humility, and spiritual fervour displaces common sense and discernment. “What
would Jesus really do?” is replaced by “Let’s sort this out!”
It is also possible for pastors and teachers to be placed in positions of
responsibility which they cannot hope to fulfil. Young pastors, with no real life
experience, are expected to perform miracles without adequately mature backup
or support. Alternatively, and more sinister, the leadership may close their ranks
to protect or even cover up mistakes from which lessons need to be learned. The
end results can be disastrous leaving lives, or whole communities, irreparably
damaged.
The material in this book is based on personal experiences, and those of close
friends, over many years. I have used my favorite tools of poetry and verse to
challenge attitudes which we often accept as normal. I have also tried to express
some of the joys and rewards of knowing the Creator God, who loves us, cares
for us and enjoys a relationship with us.
I pray that through the words of this book the hurting will find healing, the silent
will find a voice, and the abusers will see the damage they can cause “in Jesus’
Name.” More than ever, I hope that all readers will find something which
encourages them to keep going and to see that God IS at work in His church.
I would love to receive your feedback.
Copyright © 2003 Stuart Wood Page 3 of 135
 
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