Blessed Subtraction


Frank has been going to your church for 15 years now. He was there 2 pastors before you, and he makes sure that you know it with his backhanded compliments about your sermons. 

In the worship service, Frank sits in the back in a chair all to himself by choice. He prefers to be alone in the service so that he can focus on his bible reading and writing notes… which he passes along to you afterward. Here’s a couple of them:

“The music was loud and I want to talk to you about the translation you were using.”

“I would like to meet with you this week because I don’t think our funds should be going to missions abroad. We have many ministry opportunities locally that should do.”

One Sunday, Frank was being distracted by a new family’s special needs child in the service. He took it upon himself to shame the family for having the audacity for causing such a racket in the house of the lord. That family never came back. 

Another time, Frank told a new believer that it was a sin to smoke and that if they didn’t change their ways they were going to hell. That new believer stopped coming.

Children know Frank as the mean guy. 

Parents think he’s a weirdo. 

Church staff members just try to avoid him at all costs by ducking into an empty classroom as they see him coming down the hall. 

Every church has a Frank (sorry if your name is Frank). We all have a church member (or two) that shows ZERO spiritual fruit in their lives. No matter how many sit-downs we have with the Franks, they never change and continue to be a terror to everyone around them. 

What do we do when we have a “Frank” of a church member? 

Thankfully the Bible sheds light on this situation…

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

-Matthew 18:15-18

If Frank won’t repent after we’ve done everything according to the Bible, we kick him out. Is it harsh? Absolutely! But the consequences of letting a Frank continue to stay at our church will be much worse. Franks will rob us of our joy and can cause division amongst the body. 

What do we do after Frank is gone? We get back to the ministry at hand and thank God for all His blessings!

That is called a Blessed Subtraction.