Perhaps this is one of the most difficult subjects of any relationship or ministry. From years of experience, I can say that there is no better source of help on this subject than Scripture. Let me also confess that I am not an expert or example in this area and have failed often.
Most disagreements that are handled well by leaders end up with benefits on both sides. Paul and Barnabas had known each other for about ten years and worked in their calling from Antioch for about four years. They knew each other well and God blessed their work together. At the end of Acts 15, “Paul thought best not to take with them one [Mark], who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work” (Acts 15:38).
This decision did not sit well with Barnabas who had taken “John called Mark” under his wing. It meant that Paul and Barnabas separated; Barnabas to Cyprus with Mark, and Paul with Silas went “through Syria and Cilicia” (15:41).
Was this a terrible thing for the Church? No! Please note two things: 1) neither Paul nor Barnabas spoke ill of the other person and 2) they both continued the Lord’s work with commitment and energy. Did Paul forget about Mark? Never! “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
It is important for the sake of God’s glory and His work that we strive to maintain this attitude even when differences might cause us to work separately for a time.
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