DISCIPLE MAKING LEADERSHIP - PURPOSE IN PAIN
You will recognize this as the passage where Paul and Barnabas got into a heated debate. It was so intent that both men split up and went their separate ways.
Get your Bible and go to Acts 15:36-41.
You will recognize this as the passage where Paul and Barnabas got into a heated debate. It was so intent that both men split up and went their separate ways. Why was Paul so stubborn in getting his own way? Why didn't Barnabas as "the encourager" just get over this situation? Both questions overlook something very important and cause us to miss how both men still fulfilled God's purposes.
Look at verse 36 and note their purpose. Both Paul and Barnabas wanted to leave Antioch to go back through the cities where they encountered opposition. This sounds awful but their intent was to continue growing and developing their fellow believers. In other words, they weighed the risk of additional abuse but decided that disciple-making leadership was worth the cost. Do you come to that same conclusion?
Despite the schism that occurred over John Mark, both Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways "in the grace of the Lord" to strengthen their brethren (verses 40-41). There is no doubt that pain was involved in this separation but neither individual allowed that to stop them from a focus on making disciples.
Unfortunately for us in the modern-day, church people are still really good at hurting other church people. When that happens, we need to react just like Paul and Barnabas by letting go of the situation and remaining steadfast in our work. Both men were resilient in that they saw an opportunity even in this situation.
I think this passage really teaches us three important things about disciple-making leadership:
The call is not ceased by the presence of opposition.
Even when disagreements arise within the church, we have to focus on our purpose instead of the pain.
God can do amazing things through you when you let go of the strife.
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