Does your church ever feel like a minefield... like there are explosive issues just below the surface that might cripple your ministry (or worse?) Need help safely navigating these devices? Things to remember:
1) Satan is a destroyer and ultimately he is the cause of this. While people do dumb things and allow themselves to be used by the schemer to hurt God's Church, Paul said, "we wrestle" with principalities and powers not of this world. Jesus told a parable of a farmer whose enemy sowed tares in his wheat crop. Satan is the real enemy... not the former pastor... not a deacon who feels called to keep you humble... not a councilman who rejects your plans to build.
It's Satan who is attacking your family with turmoil and strife. It is Satan who is tempting a board member to disrespect you. It is the "accuser-of-the-brethren" that attacks through circumstances and people in your life to discourage you. Put a face on it and remember, it isn't a deacon, your wife, or a rogue church member.
2) Spiritual warfare must be fought with spiritual weapons. Fall on your face in prayer. Ask God for wisdom, self-control, and courage to do what is necessary. Fortify yourself with the prayers of spiritual men who don't need to know all the details of the situation before they commit to heartfelt prayer.
3) Keep a brief journal of your actions and conversations. That journal will be helpful to you as you recall important details, as you see God's faithfulness to you. and as you help other men navigate their minefields.
Become that unflappable leader you've admired at various times in history. You remember, those stone-faced, steal-jawed heroes of earlier times who created confidence in their followers by their courage and character and well-timed words. They don't have to know about your fears. They don't have to know about the many times you have fallen on your face not knowing what to do.
I leave you with the words of one of my favorite leadership passages (Joshua 1:9) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."