I always get a bit nostalgic at this time of year. The final few hours of 2010 and looking forward to 2011 can be exciting and a bit fearful too. This past year has been one of the most difficult of my life. Dealing with conflict in a church is never easy, pretty, or fun. It was long overdue and something that I can begin to see has made me stronger in my faith. My heart is so ready for a new page, a new beginning. 2010 was filled with learning that even though I’ve been alive for 43 years, I have much to learn. I’ve been in ministry for over 20 of those years and I feel like a rookie sometimes.
I would like to put down on my first blog some of the lessons I learned about conflict and hopefully it will help someone if nothing else help me look back and remember these lessons so I don’t have to repeat them.
One of the first things I learned was that when conflict is present, you must handle with prayer and study of the Word. Far too often we try to come with human solutions or human methods to solve conflict. While yes, those things are helpful the true answers come from God himself and his Word. If we are going to get to the heart of conflict, we must open ourselves totally to God’s Spirit and submit to Him. We must also fully commit to following the Spirits prompts and conviction.
A second lesson learned is that a “fear of man” can be a very powerful thing and we must never allow that to over rule our ‘fear’ of God. This happened to me over the past 4 years and unfortunately it took a toll on me both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to think I’m totally free from this but I realize if I let me guard down, it could happen again. That’s why I’m turning a page. I will not avoid conflict this year, I’ll embrace it as an opportunity to grow and develop my faith.
I will also give myself to God in a way that hopefully will never allow a fear of man to take control of me. I want to be a solid man of God, one who leads my family and my ministry boldly and effectively.
I’m turning a page. I’m becoming a learner again, I’m going to get my life in balance, healthy and focused so that whatever time God allows me to have on this earth it will be done in an even greater way in 2011