At the time of this writing, I have been a pastor for slightly more than ten years. Over these years, I have seen seasons of church peace and growth, as well as seasons of conflict and decline. The topic of growth is more fun to write about, but conflict is also just as real, and it needs to be discussed.
When you go through church conflict, what are some things to which you need to cling? There are four aspects . . .
The first aspect of trusting God during troubled times of church conflict is obedience. This shows that we believe his ways are true and better, and show that by being doers of the word.
Obey God even if it is hard. The easy thing to do is quit, or move to another church, or “check out.” Do not give into Satan’s temptations. Obey!
- God’s Truth
The second aspect of trusting God during troubled times is trusting his truth. This means believing what His Word says to be true, prayerfully seeking what He has told us in the Bible.
The Scriptures repeatedly teach us that pastors are to protect the flock, care for the flock, and love the flock. Believe the Word of God. Trust His truth.
- God’s Methods
The third aspect of trust is trusting God’s methods. The biblical methods of conflict resolution mean examining ourselves first, and to relinquish our rights for the good of others.
Put others before yourself. It may be painful to deal with areas of conflict, but it is part of a pastor’s calling. Have you examined yourself lately? Repent of any sin indwelling your heart.
- Trust God’s Timing
Lastly, trusting in God during troubled times means to trust in His timing. Sometimes the conflict can be resolved quickly and easily, but sometimes it may take years. Trusting in His timing means that we let God be God and we do not attempt to usurp His rightful role in our lives and His church.
Do you struggle with God’s timing? I know I do more than I’d like to admit.
For those of us who struggle with the “I want it and I want it now” mentality, let’s remember that we are linear thinkers, and God has a macro perspective of expanding His Kingdom. Place your trust in the Lord to bring peace to conflict in His divine timing.
May the Prince of Peace give peace to you and the church of which you’re a part during troubled times.
Grace and peace to you.
Source for the Outline: Church Conflict by the Book