“The gates of hell shall never overcome what God started, but Satan certainly loves to disrupt what God’s church is doing.”
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)
I’m not a pastor who is constantly looking for Satan behind everything that goes wrong. I concentrate my attention on Jesus and encouraging others to follow Jesus and not to focus on the defeated one. Yet, I’m fully aware that Satan loves to destroy—or attempt to destroy—a church. Obviously Satan is a limited being and God’s church is secure. The gates of hell shall never overcome what God started, but Satan certainly loves to disrupt what God’s church is doing.
Here are seven ways Satan tries to destroy a church:
1. Church Conflict
Satan loves business meetings that get out of hand or when two church members have disagreements outside of church. He loves when church members argue about trivial things, such as colors of the carpet or big things, such as whether to add another service. Doesn’t matter to him. Show him a good argument potential and he’s willing to stir the fire.
Satan loves to burn out a church volunteer, staff member, or pastor. If he can make them feel they are no longer needed, their work is not appreciated, or that they no longer have anything to offer…he feels he’s winning part of the battle.
Satan is the stirrer of dissension. He likes to plant little seeds of a juicy story, about someone in the church or community…sometimes even the pastor or staff…and watch them quickly spread through a church congregation or community. The version, of course, usually grows to a larger portion than reality. Satan likes that too.
Satan loves to distract church goers with a plethora of activity that produces little results in Kingdom-building.
Satan attempts to interject what he calls a “half-truth”; just a hint of false doctrine and then watch it disrupt or divide a body. Of course, we all know that half-truth is really just a cleaned up version of a bold face lie, but Satan is clever enough to disguise a lie in a way where false teachers gain entry and do damage before being discovered.
Satan loves a good, juicy, gossipy news headline in the local paper. If it will split, divide or destroy a church body…even better. If it will destroy someone’s Kingdom calling or work…he’ll take that too.
7. Marriage and Family Disruptions
Satan loves to destroy any relationship, but he also goes after key leader’s marriages; even the pastor’s marriage. He likes to encourage prodigal children. He wants to cause families to fight within the church and fight with the church. Satan knows if he can destroy a home, he has a better chance of destroying a church.
Thankfully, there is good news:
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
What other ways have you seen Satan try to destroy a church?