I've discovered seven types of people that hinder the building of a spiritual community. Read on. Some of them may be uncomfortably familiar.
1. Miss Cinderella
Ms. Cinderella is the lady who is too good to be true. She holds a prim and proper facade that cannot even hurt a rat. No one can imagine her doing anything "sinful", except probably accidentally spilling a cup of tea on the white table cloth. But nothing more than an innocent mishap.
She is the perfect Christian who can be voted for "The Christian of the Year" award. She holds a perfect attendance in fellowships and Sunday services. No one knows much about her except that she is busily involved in church ministries. People see her life as absent of troubles because she never shares what goes on in her personal life. She keeps what's real and true to herself, and shows only the good side to others. She makes other people in the church feel bad because they would not ever be able to attain this perfection in their Christian life.
2. Miss Eponine (Les Miserables)
You might catch her belting out "On My Own" in the bathroom. She is the type of person who prefers to go solo in life, who doesn't want to be part of the community. She sees the imperfections of the people within the church and thinks that she doesn't belong with this group of sinners. She'd rather keep her distance and be on her own. She doesn't need encouragements from others nor does she have the desire to help others.
She does not want to join a small group. She does not have the burden to invite others to join the church as well. She prefers to run the race of the Christian life alone or with limited friends and go "solo flight."
3. Miss Fara See
She is a master of the Word of God. She is very much knowledgable of the church's rules and traditions. She knows what must be done and what must not be done on different days of the week. Similar to Miss Cinderella, Miss Fara See keeps her records clean and white, but she requires others to keep theirs just as clean.
Ms. Fara See has an eye for mistakes. She can see it clearly when brothers and sisters silently move away from the path. Instead of guiding them gently and lovingly, she hits them with verses in the Bible until they do the right thing. Instead of sharing the love of Christ, she condemns.
4. Miss Dear Abbey
Miss Abbey is a friend who you may share problems with in the church. She is sweet and caring, but may seem a little bit overbearing. She gives an answer before grasping the whole question, or shoots an advice before listening to the whole problem. She wants everything to be fixed as soon as possible... this includes your problem.
Although she has a kind heart, she doesn't realize that she seems to be more concerned with fixing your problem than you.
5. Miss Martha
Miss Martha is a very busy body in the church. She is tired and she drains the energy of other people as well. She loves inviting people to the ministry because she needs help in doing all the work. She even invites Mary, the people who are very much willing to listen to Jesus, to the ministry, letting Mary think that serving is the way to get to know God and grow spiritually. She forgets that spending time to get to know God is more important as it would give her the joy of spreading the good news and the passion to fulfill the work.
At the end of the day, she makes the people in the church tired, unhappy and stressed.
6. Miss 1000 Jokes
Sometimes the favorite person in the crowd can be the very hindrance to spiritual accountability. She is fun to be with. She possesses the sack of funny stories and jokes that may bring bouts of laughter. However, this funny lady may waste (her and other's) time by talking about foolish, unimportant things. She is not helping others in any way by investing in conversations that have no eternal value.
7. Miss Nowhere
How do you read this - Miss Now Here or Miss No Where? Similarly, this miss is a very good source of confusion. She is already a Christian but members are not exactly sure if she is part (or not part) of the church. She sometimes attends the church and then absents herself again for a few weeks. Church leaders invest their time mentoring her, church events coordinators prepare camps for her. All these include time, effort and money, and yet she is not entirely stepping in completely to a local church. She might be attending another church and she would rather get the best of both worlds. She cares more of what the church can do for her than how she can help in the church.