In 2 Chronicles 10, King Rehoboam (son of Solomon) is asked by the people to ease the burden of work given to them. In return, they commit to faithfully serve the king.
Rehoboam decides to wait 3 days before giving an answer. He consults two groups of counselors: old men who served under his father Solomon, and young guys his own age. The old guys recommended that he ease the work of the people, serve the people, and speak good things to the people. The young guys recommended that he make the work and the punishments more harsh (maybe because they didn’t have video games back then to inflate their ego).
So Rehoboam decides to go with the counsel of the young guys, which meant becoming a tyrant over his people. The people ended up stoning to death the taskmaster placed over them, and Rehoboam had to flee.
All to often we get caught up in the black or white nature of policy. We like firm boundaries. More often than not we would rather bend people to fit around our “brilliant” policies and strategies.
But did you see the counsel of the old guys? They advised him to serve the people; ease their load, and speak good words to them. The trade off? They would serve him forever.
As we lead people in churches, let us take the counsel of the old guys. While policies and guidelines are important, they do not take precedence over serving people. Life often happens in the gray area between the black and white. It’s our job to love and serve people through it, and point them to Jesus.
So next time you’re faced with a people vs. policy crisis, trying molding your policy to serve your people. That seems like a better alternative than getting stoned to death.