When Christian Leaders Have Their Differences
2015 has been one of the most exciting and painful years of my life in the ministry. I have gained new friendships and lost others. There have been times where I could not decipher between who was for me and who was against me. I have had to literally fast and pray my way to a place of peace and rest on multiple occasions this year. In a perfect world, there would be no denominations, no doctrinal disagreements, and all Christian leaders would be best friends and see eye to eye on everything. Unfortunately this is not reality. Through a series of prophetic dreams, I believe God has shown me that Satan is attempting to lure many Christian leaders to go on personal attack campaigns against one another. Rather than pray for one another, Satan is tempting Christian leaders to prey on one another. Even as we are witnessing Donal Trump and Hillary Clinton slug it out in the political world, I wonder if this is not just a mirror picture of what has been happening in the body of Christ. One Christian leader after another is bashing another Christian leader in an attempt to gain ground and popularity. Whether the accusations are blatant or hidden in blog posts, periscope, or social media outlets, I believe God has spoken great wisdom to me through a prophet in the midst of my pain and journey to discover truth. I want to share the word I received in hopes that it can encourage others who find themselves in similar situations. Whether you are a Christian leader who has lost valuable friendships this year with other Christian leaders or you are a Christian leader who is feeling led to move on to your next assignment and it will potentially cost you relationship with other Christian leaders, this word is for you.
I’d like to mention that in October of this year (2015), God showed me through a prophetic dream that there would come a “crossroads” for many leaders in the body of Christ. Many leaders would feel led to leave ministries and join other ones. Leaders who had been great friends for years would move on to other friendships. What is God trying to say in the midst of all this?
Here’s the word of encouragement:
There can be differences among Christian leaders that are NOT rooted in: PRIDE, PERSONAL AMBITION, OR OFFENDED FEELINGS. However, differences CAN be rooted in: SPIRITUAL GIFTS, OUTLOOK, BURDEN, MANTLE’S, AND CALLING’S.
A strong disagreement among Christian leaders is vastly differently than a personal falling out. It is possible to disagree about doctrine, vision, ministry style etc and not let the disagreement alienate Christian leaders from one another.
For some Christian leaders, differences can be brought to a resolution by separation. THIS IS/CAN BE HEALTHY. In this scenario, Christian leaders resolve to go their own way based on PERSONAL CONVICTION, not bitterness, envy, or strife. Unity is not conformity.
Differences among Christian leaders DO NOT have to result in 2 parties walking away from one another quoting bible verses, using social media to express their pain, or gathering other Christian leaders in an attempt to assassinate the character and ministry of another. In these cases, sometimes it is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is possible among Christian leaders to not feel compelled to bless what another Christian leader has chosen to do, but rather release them into what they feel God is calling them to do. I used to look at the separation of Paul and Barnabus as a bad thing. At this point in my life, I’m starting to see two great Christian leaders who just didn’t see eye to eye on everything and decided to move on. They didn’t attack, didn’t insult one another, didn’t prey on one another, they just kept advancing the gospel.
“After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.” Acts 15:36-41
May God use this wisdom and these distinctions to bring healing, hope, and a burden for repentance among Christian leaders who have been faced with these issues in 2015.
Grace and Peace,