Every family has an operating system. Some allow sugar all hours of the day, while others limit it to special occasions. Some let children make most of the decisions, others very few. Some have strong core values or connections, while others barely talk. Some discipline with actions, others with words. I dare say that many differences are okay because no two families are alike, and God is doing something unique in every generation. Each child has their own destiny and must be parented according to what He is doing. However, the church is not plural – it is singular – HIS! It is not your pastor’s house, his stage, or his ministry. It is the Father’s house. There is only ONE operating system of the church, and the manual, if you will, is found in His Word. He outlines who should lead, how one should lead, what to do when someone sins, and how to respond to people when they make a mess and when they are unrepentant. He gives us the tools of correction, discipline, and removal. He tells us how to respond and how not to respond. If we are called into His house, then we must follow His ways, not create our own. Why? WITCHCRAFT DOES NOT BELONG IN HIS HOUSE. Leaders who create their own house rules invite the demonic in His house. Let’s say Sarah is a new believer eager to serve the Lord. She is in a church where the leaders have their own system of doing things. Sarah doesn’t have the manual, according to Mr. Pastor, so she doesn’t really know what the rules are or what she is following. The only way she knows she has done it wrong in their eyes is when she does it wrong and gets in trouble for it. Pastors who have their own rules often lead with shame-based responses. Instead of being hungry to serve, Sarah is now scared to mess up but can’t for the life of her figure out what is right or wrong. All she knows is that she does not want to get in trouble again. Let’s say Johnny sins. He is a believer and therefore has the Holy Spirit deep at work within him to convict him of his choices that will not go well for him or bear the fruit he is designed to bear. We rob God’s children of Holy Spirit conviction when we create our own operating systems in the church because the Holy Spirit does not follow man’s ways. He only convicts when someone is violating God. When we do things God’s way, we invite the Holy Spirit to help shepherd His people.