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July 10, 2019

Overcoming Polarization in the Church

By New Churches Team

Fear

Fear is a very real thing that we must actively fight against. Fear of failure can often hold us back from pursuing that which God has called us. Fear of man is our natural tendency to want to be accepted by the people we are seeking after. If left unchecked, this temptation of people-pleasing could turn into an idol in your life. 

Another element of fear as a church planter is the fear of releasing control. This is fear that once you take a step back from your church and allow it to function like you have built it to do, it will change and the leadership will make decisions you wouldn’t make. This is a control issue. How you handle these fears and relinquish control to Christ is what will define your leadership. It is crucial that, as a leader, you come to terms with your fears of giving up control. 

Love vs. Fear

There is actual war between love and fear. It is in the crux of every human heart. First John 1 states that the very essence of Christ is love and perfect love casts out fear. So when you invert the verse, it becomes clear that fear can cast out love. Fear can even cast out the very presence of God from our lives and our mission. 

We are often afraid of people who are unlike us. Fear creates a polarization of “us” against “them,” and that polarization eventually turns into hatred which causes a void between us and the mission field. Jesus modeled the mission we are to follow in reaching lost people through interpersonal proximity. We need to get beyond our polarization and actually sit down to have table fellowship with the lost. 

Three Responses

Our base nature is to attack or avoid that which we don’t like. What impulses have you seen come out of you toward something you don’t like? Are these impulses of the flesh or of the Spirit? How do you avoid things you don’t like?

When you take a second to honestly analyze these aspects of your life, you start to see yourself in a very real light. But don’t stop there. Ask yourself, what’s the other option? Is there another way to respond to those who you don’t agree with or may not like? When we look at Christ’s life, the answer is very clear: yes. 

The third option in responding to others, rather than attacking or avoiding, is affection. How do you move toward those you don’t like with warm hospitality instead of war and hostility? How do you begin to disciple people to affection toward those they can’t stand? You invite the Spirit in instead of listening to the flesh when you move toward affection. 

Love Your Enemies

Christ loved us as His enemies, so how do we go and do likewise? How do we love our enemies not just in word, but in our day-to-day actions? 

To read the remainder of this article and to listen to the entire Behind-The-Scenes segment with Dan White Jr., click here for the full post.

This video is part of Plus Membership. To get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.

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