A few years ago when I was leading fellowship, there was a argument between two groups. Things were said and feelings were hurt. I cried to my pastor for help. We had a talk among everyone.
Well...both group left the church. I cannot say they left the church because of this. Granted, I got a feeling that some did not feel the church wasn't very welcoming and decided to go. There are other factors as well..some got marry and decided to move on....
Of all the things I think about....I wonder if I could have done a better job as a leader in handling things. Looking back, there are things which I should have done faster instead of waiting until things got blown over.
I have been reading Moses lately. This is for a paper I am going to write on how God shape leaders.
As the story of Moses unfold, quickly, there were conflict.
Right after God told Moses to go back to Egypt and speak to Pharaoh, Moses went to the elders of the Israel and told them all that God had commanded him. The elders believed. They even bow down and pray (Exodus 4:31). That's great. Because Moses feared that not even his own people will listen to him (Exodus 3:13-18).
So Moses and Aaron boldly go up to the Pharaoh and asked him to free their people. Pharaoh ignored their request. Instead, he gave the Israelites harsher punishment.
The Israelites blamed it on Moses and Aaron....they said:
"May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us." (Exodus 5:21)
Between one chapter, we see the Israelites change their mind from seeing Moses and Aaron as sent by God to liberate them....now to accuse them for wronging to the Lord and they get punish for this.
The chosen messenger of the Lord became the scapegoat for all the punishment Israel must endure.
If I was Moses, I would go back to Midian. Why not? Why bother freeing a group of people who will whine and grumble anyways? Let them stay with the Egyptians. They like it there. After all, I got a good home there. Got lots of flocks and raise my family there. Everyone wins!
Yet what did Moses do? He didn't back down. He turned to the Lord for help....
Yet Moses endured. And this won't be the only time (Ex 14:10-11, 15:24, 16:3, 17:3).
"O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23)
In A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal, he talked about that conflicts are expected. That's the reality.
The two group never reconciled fully. Despite growing up together. After the conflict, the groups slowly drifted apart. Maybe they reconciled and decided to move on. Maybe God is still working on their hearts. That I will never know. This is not a matter which I dwell too much upon. For I should go and reconcile relationships which I have wronged.
I can say that during that period, there were a lot of hurt and I felt a lot of hurt. I don't say this to criticize others. For when things are done, they are done. When they are said, they are said.
Among the pain of leading...God revealed greatly of how awesome He is. Even at times when I didn't turn to Him.