There aren't many leaders of organizations who haven't experienced division in their midst. One of the deepest pains a leader endures is to watch as self-anointed leaders sow discord.
Sowing discord seems to precede the eventual "drawing away" spoken of in Acts 20:30.
"Even from among you men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples away from them."
Worldly leaders and spiritual leaders approach every decision in the organization from different positions. Spiritual leaders serve in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ and build the organization through an attitude of service.
A worldly leader isn't keen on submission to any authority. The leader is in it for himself. His guiding thought is "what's best for me?" He doesn't think twice about sowing discord and catalyzing division.
I learned early in my career that division is common. It seems to me that spiritual unity is rare.
Paul taught us to expect dividers and division. He offered us a few tips for reducing the impact of worldly schisms:
From Acts Chapter 20:
1. "I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God" (verse 27).
Remain focused on spiritual matter. Lead with your feet firmly planted in godly principles.
2. "Take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock" (verse 28).
Self-preservation is one thing but the health of the flock cannot be forgotten. When we get caught up in the pity party of "why are they doing this to me," it's easy to lose focus on how the dissenters will affect the overall organization.
3. "Dreadful wolves will enter among you ... therefore watch" (verses 29, 31).
Paul reminds us that "they" will come. Some leaders simply deny the existence of wolves. They fail to see and understand the impact of cancer cells. Watch is a powerful word.
4. "I did not cease to warn everyone with tears" (verse 31).
Barney Fife would advise leaders to "nip it in the bud." It's easier to nip a bud than a forest.
During a season of division, the true leader will remain focused on his own submission to the Lord. Conflict resolution schema may or may not be effective. Our overarching goal is to achieve peace and unity.
Unfortunately, "I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!" (Psalm 120:7, MEV).
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"The servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be gentle toward all people, able to teach, patient, in gentleness instructing those in opposition. Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth" (2 Tim. 2:24-25).
Platform Tip No. 111
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Ask more questions to uncover felt needs.
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