Eric Bancroft is the Pastor of High School Ministry in Grace Community Church, and spoke this year in the Shepherd’s Conference 2007.. He referred to his "Staff Resolutions". So I called and the student ministries secretary e mailed me their staff resolutions. The list was short for the workers who serve in the High School Ministry. The word "resolved" was used and I like that term.
"Resolved". The term has several meanings. One is "To reduce the tension with some mental and biblical analysis." Over the years there has been in ministry this "tension" between staff and membership. Membership has matters that can’t be resolved with staff, and then there is the staff issues with other staff members.
The number of illustrations that I could illustrate this point are many. Somehow we need to learn how to resolve tension in the flock. We need to reduce the friction in the flock.
Without question Satan’s priority for the church is to destroy its witness to the unifying love of Christ.
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Satan’s primary "M.O." (Method of Operation) is to stimulate Christian ego or pride (the flesh) and create friction by rubbing Christian egos against each other. (Now, Christians are perfectly capable of doing this without Satan’s help) until heat and sparks are of sufficient quality to generate a fire which can burn up, or at least wither the loving and concerned relationship which the spirit of God creates between the brethren. This friction, of course, can lead to factions which, in turn, can lead to fracture in the church. This accomplishes Satan’s number one goal which is to destroy the unified witness of the body, the very thing we are to avoid.
"And DO NOT grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted FORGIVING each other." Ephesians 4:30-32.
I attended Shepherd’s Conferences in 1982 and again in 1990. I had been pastoring FBC for two years in 1982 and there was a lot of friction or dissension those first few months. Our Asso. Pastor and deacons and I were at odds, as well as some members. I attended the Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church, and I received some very good advice in this matter of friction and dissension and disagreements. The first three months we didn’t know very well how to handle this problem. And teachers and deacons left the church. A few months later the asso. pastor left the church because of the disagreement over my change to expository preaching and teaching. But we were able pour the oil of the Spirit between the abrasive contacts (Gal. 5:22,23) Thus we were able to reduce the friction that had produced the anger and the alienation. And for the next sixteen years we had some friction in the church, but we were able to have fewer disagreements.
TWO QUESTIONS AND THEN THE ANSWER::
Is there going to be friction in every local church?
What are the most common causes or sources for friction among the saints?
- Is there going to be friction in every local church? YES!!!!
There is going to be feuding, fighting and fussing in every assembly of true believers. The "flesh" to which every believer is bound, makes friction inevitable.
What are the most common causes or sources for friction among saints?
Church conflict or friction can arise from any number of sources. It may be the result of conflicting theological, philosophical or ideological points of view between two persons or several.. Breaking it down, however, we can probably categorize the differences into the three following areas:
- DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES
Interpersonal friction (disagreement) can arise from abrasive portions of personality differences. Sometimes, also, very strong emotional needs of different individuals will lead to struggles because of frustrated needs about which they have strong feelings.
- DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES:
Individuals will view events and circumstances differently, and since their responses are conditioned by past experiences, the same information may trigger distinctly different images and concepts and opinions in the mind. It is even possible that each perspective has a degree of validity when seen from that particular perspective.
- DIFFERENT PURPOSES:
Goals and objectives, when not seen in the same light as the originators see them or without an understanding of the supportive information which led to the formation of the goals and objectives, can cause disagreement, lack of support and even open opposition.
Since disagreement is seldom found in just one of these possible sources, but is usually a combination of two or more and each to a different degree, it is often extremely difficult to diagnose and deal with it.
The ultimate answer to both the prevention and cure of friction and conflict among believers is found in the leadership of the church maintaining a consistent example of Philippians 2:3
- "Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with HUMILITY of MIND let EACH of you regard or esteem one another as more important than himself; DO NOT merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant July 3 2007 and proof read by Charity 07 03 07