Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word?

by Jim on March 13, 2014


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #086 – 3-13-14

Your Host: Rev. Jim W. Hollis  /  Sponsored by: Proactive Ministries (proactive-ministries.org)

Welcome back this week to Episode number Eighty-six of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  Your presence here today is a great blessing to me as we continue to see the Lord build our community around the world.  I appreciate your time in listening today and want you to know I always am delighted to hear input, comments and thoughts about what we share.

Today we are looking at a different theme: (Was it ever true?)

Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word?

I’m thinking about really old cowboy songs.  Like those from Bonanza, the Red River Valley and of course one of the most famous of all – Home on the Range.  Remember those classic lyrics from so long ago?  I recognize that some of you are not old enough to remember, but they go like this:

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,

And the skies are not cloudy all day.

The old song speaks to us of a place of peace, beauty, grace and tranquility.  It transports us to a scene of harmony and bliss.

Is the church a place like this?  Is there harmony, peace, grace, joy, forgiveness, hope and tranquility.  At times, yes.  But at other times, no.  So what makes the difference?

The greatest enemies of a church being healthy are often not from outside the walls, but inside the walls of the church.  Of course we know that people make the church, not the buildings.  Remember that little exercise we still teach children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School today?  Put your hands together with your fingers interlocked.  Close them together to hide your fingers inside your palms.  Then say, “Here’s the church and there’s the steeple (letting your index fingers come up to make a steeple) open the doors and there are the people – now showing your fingers as the church.  What a nice little exercise.

There are three major groups that often prevent us from singing “Home on the Range” in churches.  They foster DIS-couragement and are found far too frequently in many congregations.

These three major groups that create, foster and perpetuate discouragement can be:

  1. Finance Committee members who see their mission as “the money police.”
  2. Council or Board members who oppose growth, vote against most things and then refuse to be Team Players after decisions are made.
  3. Pastors who justify failing to model initiating new friendships beyond the membership of the local church.

While these three groups above rarely represent the majority of those in the three respective groups mentioned – a few of them who are insistent can generate enough discouragement to harm the informed and the innocent as well.  They are doing harm to the community.  This kind of negativity in a church is clearly not of Christ and today I’m encouraging Leaders of congregations to be prayerful and diligent in dealing with it in caring but firm ways.


As always, I would love for you to share this Podcast with others you know.  Are you in a small group?  Are you on a committee that seems to be consistently discouraging others?  Maybe you would like to download this Episode and burn it to a CD or DVD and share it with others in your congregation.  Knowing how to spiritually address some of the agents of discouragement is important in order for any church to move forward.

IF your church is one filled with conflict or strife, give me a call and let’s talk about the very relevant solution of Conflict Resolution Ministry.  We have done this with about 20% of the congregations we have worked with over the last twenty years across North America.  The earlier you catch it, the simpler it is to work through and overcome with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Until our next episode, please know I cherish your prayers, presence and your feedback.  Keep the calls and emails coming in.

My contact information is:

Rev. Jim W. Hollis can be reached at:

  • Email: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com
  • Voicemail: Click on the TAB on the right side of this blog and use your microphone to leave a voicemail
  • Facebook: Jim W. Hollis
  • LinkedIn: Jim Hollis
  • Proactive Ministries Office: (Georgia, USA) – (770) 803-9988

Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you.


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