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I wrote a short letter to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes
to be their leader, will not pay any attention to what I say.
When I come, then, I will bring up everything he has done:
the terrible things he says about us and the lies he tells!
But that is not enough for him; he will not receive the Christians
when they come, and even stops those who want to receive them
and tries to drive them out of the church! ~ III John 9, 10 (GNB)

READING: III John 1

Church planter, are you discouraged by conflict in your church plant? Be encouraged. Remember, if you are in church planting leadership, you will have conflict and will have to deal with difficult people just as Biblical leaders did:

  • Despite God’s miracles of protection and provision, Moses faced withering criticism as he led God’s people out of bondage.
  • David, relentlessly loyal to King Saul, was rewarded by Saul’s trying to kill him repeatedly!
  • The Apostle Paul, though suffering sacrificially for the Gospel, was deeply hurt by opposition from church members and was forced to defend himself.
  • John, the Beloved Disciple, wasn’t so beloved by some and had to defend himself as we see here in III John.
  • Supremely, our Lord Jesus, the perfectly sinless one, faced opposition that led to his crucifixion. He was killed by his own people!

So don’t be surprised when conflicts arise. We are in good company.

Lord, It is so good to know that it is not always me who is the problem. Please help me discern when it is and when it isn’t. Help me apologize when the problem is me and to appropriately confront when it is not. Amen.

Mark Alan Williams