One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years in ministry is that you (if you’re in the church) WILL fight with others (that are in the church). You’ll either be fighting together with them to reach the culture outside or you’ll be fighting against them inside. We’re called to fight and we’re going to do it one way or the other.

A lack of external focus will most certainly breed internal drama. As the church we’re called to be externally focused, always thinking of and fighting for the outsider. When we’re not, unnecessary arguments and controversy ensue. 

Even Jesus dealt with this. Two of the disciples asked to sit on Jesus right and left once in heaven. They were essentially asking this for their own gain and what happens???

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:41-45)

Jesus essentially says here, ‘stop being so inwardly focused and start being outwardly focused. Inward focus is always bread by selfishness and self preservation while outward focus always puts others first.

Paul addresses this issue as well in a church dealing with the issue of speaking in tongues.

Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. (1 Corin 14:16-19)

Paul is saying as well, ‘you’re not outward focused. Stop arguing about this and focus on other more important issues.’

I’ve definitely been on both sides. The ‘why’ you’re fighting is always a litmus test for the focus of your church/ministry regardless of what your church/ministry’s vision or mission statements say.

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