Conflict Is The Norm
November 26, 2010
One thing you can count on in ministry is conflict. It seems to be the norm rather than the exception. In fact, conflict in the church is the number one reason for ministerial dropout, member bailout and visitor stay out. Whether a member or a leader, we all hope to avoid conflict in the church. Then out of the blue; “BAM”! Conflict arises and we spend endless nights trying to figure out how to avoid loss of members, disgruntled staff, or worse yet, a church split.
I dare say most pastors spend 70% of their time putting out fires. We fight like mad to heal the wounds, and build bridges across the chasms that have been created by conflict. Unfortunately, we tend to forget the fallen world in which we live and expect fallen people to be perfect. Here is a statement you can take to the bank: The Church will never be a perfect place as long as we lead it and as long as we minister to a fallen humanity.
Conflict comes in two basic forms. 1) Fallen Human stupidness -Some conflict happens because people are fallen and prone to fits of selfishness, immaturity and stupidity. 2) Demonic meddling –While some conflict may start out as an affect of fallen foolishness, Satan uses the immature conflict and moves it to another level. The human aspect of conflict we understand all to well, but we tend to forget we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. We forget that the real enemy is not the pain in the neck board member or deacon. Rather, it is Satan.
Keep in mind that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood. I have a good friend who says every chance he can, "Satan hates church planters more than any in the ministry". He may indeed be right. Remember, anytime you attempt something great for God, whether a church planter or not, Satan will show up. But then what did you expect? Did you think Satan would just roll over and say, "Of course! Go right ahead."?
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Eph 6:12