But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. The other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. ~ Galatians 2:11, 13 (GNB)
READING: Galatians 2
Despite being with Jesus, despite their message being accompanied by miraculous signs and despite revelations that eventually became Scripture, the original church planting leaders experienced major conflicts from time to time.
Conflict in church planting ministry is unavoidable and sometimes opposition comes from those you least expect.
Even Barnabas fell into the trap of legalistic behavior and the Encourager became a discourager when he opposed Paul.
As you and I face church planting conflicts, let’s bear in mind these lessons from this passage:
1. It is normal to have conflict in ministry.
2. Always stand for the truth – refuse to compromise, even though conflict may result. Paul had to take on James, Peter, John and even Barnabas.
3. Remember that our goal is not to please people, no matter who they are, but always to please our Lord.
In Galatians 1:10 (ESV) Paul wrote this powerful challenge: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” True Christ-followers live only to please Christ.
They endure any conflict, ridicule, criticism, rejection, ostracism, and even persecution when clear issues of faithfulness and integrity are at stake. Don’t be a coward.
Instead, stand for truth and endure any unavoidable church planting conflict for the sake of Christ.
Lord, Please help me to endure conflicts for Your sake and, when they involve issues of integrity for You, help me live only to please You. Amen.
Mark Alan Williams