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Question 4

Q: My church is splitting over a struggle of leadership.

I think the pastor is a godly man, but some people in the church want him to resign because he has held his ground on certain issues that the board disagrees with. I don’t have all of the details, but what do I do as I watch the church breaking apart and everyone is choosing sides?

Asked by: Nancy, Illinois

A: Nancy, your letter is very heartbreaking. It’s always sad when a church has to go through such a struggle.

First of all, Nancy, it’s important that you don’t take sides—it’s too early. More importantly, you don’t know all of the details. So step back, pray, and seek God.

Where does the authority of the church lie? If it is with the elder board, they have to take leadership and if their difference with the pastor cannot be resolved, then if the issue is deemed important enough, he might have to resign. But it is not up to the congregation to take sides.

In a case like this, since the split apparently seems to be church-wide, the elders should call some kind of a members meeting where these issues are aired and where clarity is given to the situation.

I encourage you to stay with the church unless things become absolutely so unbearable that you must leave.

Finally, a word of encouragement: believe it or not, sometimes God uses church splits. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:19, “It is necessary,” Paul says, “that there be divisions among you, that those whose hearts are right might be revealed.” Pray, seek God and ask Him for direction, and pray for your church, because God loves the church, and I know you do too.

Scripture references

  • 1 Corinthians 11:19

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