Church Conflict: Don’t Be Surprised

Church planter, are you discouraged by conflict in your church plant? Be encouraged.

church conflict

Are you surprised there is church conflict and you’re having to deal with difficult people and situations?

I wrote a short letter to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to be their leader, will not pay any attention to what I say. When I come, then, I will bring up everything he has done: the terrible things he says about us and the lies he tells! But that is not enough for him; he will not receive the Christians when they come, and even stops those who want to receive them and tries to drive them out of the church! ~ III John 9, 10 (GNB)


Church planter, are you discouraged by conflict in your church plant? Be encouraged. Remember, if you are in church planting leadership, you will have conflict and will have to deal with difficult people just as Biblical leaders did:

Despite God’s miracles of protection and provision, Moses faced withering criticism as he led God’s people out of bondage.

  • David, relentlessly loyal to King Saul, was rewarded by Saul’s trying to kill him repeatedly!
  • The Apostle Paul, though suffering sacrificially for the Gospel, wasdeeply hurt by opposition from church members and was forced todefend himself.
  • John, the Beloved Disciple, wasn’t so beloved by some and had to defendhimself as we see here in III John.
  • Supremely, our Lord Jesus, the perfectly sinless one, faced oppositionthat led to his crucifixion. He was killed by his own people!

So don’t be surprised when conflicts arise. We are in good company.

Lord, It is so good to know that it is not always me who is the problem. Please help me discern when it is and when it isn’t. Help me apologize when the problem is me and to appropriately confront when it is not. Amen. 

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