Resolving a Conflict
Conflict resolution from a biblical perspective is one of the greatest gifts from God. This is because it teaches people the true meaning of resolving conflicts and forgiveness. The common areas that have brought conflict among evangelical Christians include contemporary music, culture and Christianity, and the place of missionary work in the current century. Inasmuch as there are dissimilar opinions on different topics, Christians should learn the true way of resolving their conflicts before they become a cause of disunity. The onset of the millennium has brought about numerous conflicts over many practices of the church. The style of accomplishing the Great Commission is one of the causes of the conflicts. The Norwegian evangelical church officials, for example, have different views on the issue. The mission board has a strong belief that the direct engagement of a missionary on the ground bears more fruit than charity work. Furthermore, they believe that it is the only proper means of bringing the gospel to the people. The youth pastor and the church accountant, on the other hand, believe that charity work and social projects are the best ways of reaching the people with the gospel.
The Mission Board’s Argument
A look into the argument and intention of the mission department shows a group of people who want to fulfill the Great Commission that Christ gave before his ascension. His own words declared that Christians should go to the ends of the world with the gospel and make Disciples of Christ (Mathew 28:19). The beauty of this vision is that it helps in the fulfillment of many scriptures that suggest that the end is far from near as long as the gospel is not preached to the ends of the earth. The mission department also has a major point when they state that the proper way of preaching the gospel involves a person teaching or spreading the Word of God. This finds a lot of scriptural backing especially in the lives of Jesus, Paul and Peter. These three individuals, among many others, literally walked from one end of the earth to the other telling people about Christ and the power of God. Their main style of reaching the world took the pattern of preaching or teaching the Word. Apparently, this style had profound effects bearing in mind the many miracles and lives that turned to Christ leading to a tremendous growth of the church and the spread of Christianity. In addition, their style of making Christ known drew the attention of all kinds of people including the rulers of the day (Wright, 2013).
The common excuse given by critics of this style of spreading the gospel revolves around the notion that it is outdated and obnoxious (Frost & Hirsch, 2013). They argue that crusades and mission work no longer have a place in the current world, which sounds true. However, upon further investigation it is apparent that the allegations have no solid proof. They are what the society wants us to believe. Great missionaries such as Reinhardt Bonnke, Billy Graham Junior, Benny Hinn and TD Jakes have thrived on the so-called traditional ways of spreading the gospel. Furthermore, the traditional missionary work in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia still brings with unprecedented results. The place of a missionary can never turn irrelevant in any way (Wright, 2013).
Perspective of the Accountant and the Youth Pastor
The church accountant and the youth pastor have a very critical point of view in the conflict. They raised two major thorny issues with regard to the desire of the mission board. The accountant stated that the idea of sending a missionary to Central Asia is outdated. Moreover, he believed that the missionary style of spreading the gospel is costly and has diminishing returns. He therefore maintained the idea of funding and initiating social projects, supposedly as a way of extending the love of Christ to the less fortunate in the society.
The idea of launching social projects for the less fortunate finds roots in the Bible. Jesus, at one point, declared that this is one of the ways of granting people entry into heaven. The people who had the heart to share their wealth with the poor therefore have a big place in the heart of God. The Lord led by example when he fed the five thousand men in the wilderness. He further taught about giving and explained its importance in the life of a Christian saying that better is the hand that gives than the one that receives (Acts 20:35).
The Bible has many examples of people who touched the heart of God by taking care of the less fortunate. Dorcas should top the list of the people whose miracles came because of such deeds. It is important to note that such an activity led to many people knowing Christ and his power. Paul, while addressing the Philippians, commends them for their diligence in giving to the needy and supporting the gospel. Other examples include the work of people such as Cornelius the Centurion who received God’s favor for a simple act of giving. Therefore, sharing especially with the less fortunate is a ministry that people should never dare replace for another (Himes, 2013).
Giving and taking care of the less fortunate is such a powerful deed that the mission board should not have thought of it as a waste of time and money. Moreover, the mission department should think of expanding it because it also opens doors of blessing to the congregation (Wright, 2013). The youth pastor argued that there was no point of taking a missionary to other parts of the world when the church at home also needed effective outreach programs and initiatives. The point of the pastor could mean that the Christians in the organization have not taken the initiative to spread the gospel at home. This might also mean that the church at home is experiencing hostility; therefore, more attention should be paid to this issue (Frost & Hirsch, 2013). Therefore, his appeal for the shelving of the idea might have had genuine concern given the situation at home.
Reaching a Common Ground
The two opposing groups both have biblical perspectives in their reasoning and support of their agenda. However, it is apparent that they only have leaned to one side and neglected the other. Leadership requires one to evaluate the input and output levels of every undertaking before making a final decision (Perry, 2010). In other words, the decisions that have financial and resource implications require a cost-benefit analysis (Perry, 2010). Furthermore, there seems to be hostility to either idea with the notion that one is not right while the other is outdated. Reasonable solution to the issue requires sober and biblical evaluation of the two opposing viewpoints (Rush, 2002).
Concerning the allegations of the mission team that missionary work is the only right way of spreading the gospel, it is important to note that the assumption lacks biblical backing (Tangen, 2012). Even though it is an important aspect of preaching the gospel, it will not be effective without the backing of social projects. The Bible has always encouraged people to give to the less fortunate as an act of worship. Furthermore, it complements the missionary work. Missionaries in different parts of the world do not just concentrate on preaching. They also have projects that seek to empower the natives of the places they visit. This has helped the gospel to take roots in such areas.
The accountant also missed the point in alleging that missionary work has no place in the contemporary world. The truth is that it is critical in preaching the gospel. This is because the Bible encourages people to do so as a command. Having someone who understands the scriptures among the people in Asia catalyzes the spread of the gospel in countries that were initially hostile to Christianity, its followers and values (Frost & Hirsch, 2013). On the other hand, failure to preach the gospel at home should not necessarily bar the church from sending a missionary to Central Asia (Wright, 2013). An ideal example is the ministry of Paul and Peter. Despite the fact that a great percentage of Israel had not yet accepted the gospel, Paul went out to preach to the gentiles. The important point to note here is that he left Peter and other disciples to preach to the Israelites.
In looking for a common ground for the two groups, it is important to first make them understand the significance of both initiatives in fulfilling the great commission (Robinson, 2010). This is because as the Bible commands, people should proclaim the gospel and live it in order for others to believe. Therefore, the church should think of expanding the support of the social projects in Africa to accommodate spiritual expeditions. This means that the projects should also focus on making disciples for Christ.
The mission board, the youth pastor and the accountant must also understand that their allegations and blaming one another have nothing in common with the teachings of Christ (Grudem, 2009). They should not work towards bringing the worst out of each other but towards solving the problem they have. This helps in resolving conflicts instead of aggravating them. The mission department should also not give up its quest and passion to send a missionary to the unreached people. Furthermore, the gospel will make more sense to the people when the missionary will be able to discuss carnal things with them (Frost & Hirsch, 2013).
The conflict between the youth pastor, the accountant and Missions’ Board revolves around how effectively the church can reach out and spread the gospel. Although the position of the mission’s board and passion to send missionaries to fulfill the great commission cannot be belittled, it is also imperative to consider the social and physical welfare of the targeted beneficiaries of the gospel. Thus resolving this conflict must entail adoption of bilateral perspective based on appreciation that both community projects and missionary work are services to God’s creation and directly or indirectly aids the spread of God’s love for humanity, which in essence is the mandate is given to Christians that is to emulate Christ in all.
The following paper was prepared by Linda Ween, a research writer on https://bestwritingservice.com/essays/Technology/Metal-Casting-Defects.html.