There’s an old saying that I find to be true… “When fishermen don’t fish, they fight!” Unfortunately, that is not only true in the natural world–it is also true in the Church. A recent article reveals that 95% of the churches in America experience conflict (See http://www.ctlibrary.com/le/2004/fall/6.25.html). The good news is that 94% indicate that the conflict ended with positive results.
Obviously, not all conflict is bad. There is actually some conflict that results in healthier churches experiencing God’s blessing. Just read Acts 15:36-41. Acts 15:39 says that Paul and Barnabas “had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.” And if you’ll read on, you will see that both went on to have strong, anointed ministries.
So, why is there so much conflict in the Church of Jesus Christ today? Without unduly oversimplifying the problem, it is my firm conviction that the primary reason is that those who have been called to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) have become distracted from their first obligation to the Lord Jesus Christ… to be soul-winners for the Kingdom! If we were busy with the main business of winning people to Jesus, we would be too busy to fuss and fight amongst ourselves! Trust me, I know… I come from a family of avid fishermen. The only time they’re not fighting is when the’re fishing.
So, the challenge before us is to get busy with the Father’s business and go find the best fishing holes this Summer! Let’s be “fishers of men” who are so consumed with the Great Commission that we literally find ourselves too busy to grumble and complain about lesser issues.
Oh yeah, and if you do find yourself entangled in conflict, whether in your church, in your family, or where you work, check out Jesus’ conflict resolution plan in Matthew 18:15-20. It really does work!