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May 12, 2019 | Tony Hunt

Conflict Management

Acts 15:36-40

Successful relationships can blow up.Acts 15:36-39a

  • Great partnerships accomplish much.
    • Paul and Barnabas traveled as part of Paul’s first missionary journey.
    • Establishing churches in the regions of Cyprus, Pampylia, and Galatia.
    • This was a very successful journey establishing many churches in these regions.
  • Both vision and philosophical alignment is vital for effective relational partnership. (37-38)
    • Paul wants to retrace their steps of the first journey to solidify the church—they both agree!
    • Paul’s strategy and Barnabas’ strategy were not the same.
    • A “sharp dispute” transpired. (39)
  • Do you err on the side of grace or wisdom in relationships?
  • Compromise could not be found.

Story:Building project stressed team relationships.  

Constructive conflict management.  Acts 15:39b-40

  • The vision was still guiding them both.
    • Paul and Barnabas were not deterred from the vision they had received from God.
    • They were still submissive to God’s leadership of their lives. 
  • New teams were formed.
    • Paul’s wisdom guided him and Silas to some of the former church plants, but also led them on to new places to plant churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus!
    • Led by grace, Barnabas along with Mark went back to the former churches as intended, including Pamphylia where Mark had abandoned the team before.
    • Whatever caused Mark to abandon the team the first time had to be dealt with head on the second time through Pamphylia.
  • The fruit of the vision was doubled.
    • Fledgling churches were strengthened.
    • New churches were birthed.

God is glorified by the manner in which they handled the conflict.

  • Both Paul and Barnabas remain leaders in the church.
  • The church is not split by their conflict.
  • The Gospel is now being heard in new frontiers.
  • Mark becomes the first to write a Gospel.
  • Mark becomes a key partner to Paul and to the greater church. Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24; 1 Peter 5:13

Managing conflict constructively verses destructively.

  1. The vision for your life must be in line with God’s purposes.
  2. The attitude by which you address conflict must come under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Barnabas and Paul did not let their disagreement hinder the church or the mission.

They clearly did not speak poorly of each other or for that matter of Mark.

  1. The desired outcome must be that God is to get the glory.

This keeps the wrongs from being collected as it is not about you, but about Him!

This let’s God be your defender.

He will determine the fruit.

Series Information

So many people are relationally or emotionally broken. Depression, anxiety, isolation, or tension become the the norm and it wreaks havoc with relationships, health, and even with faith.  This series will be addressing these issues and will help lay stronger foundations in understanding God more fully in these issues, so that we can be on a path towards healing or help others towards a path of healing of emotional and relational brokenness.