Dr. Jack L. Arnold

Lesson 11




I.                               Attacks On Men In The Ministry

A.          Definition:  All professions involve stress, but in the ministry men (and women) are under direct attack from the world, flesh and the devil.

B.          Direct Attacks:

1.           Negative attitudes towards the pastor.

2.           Personality conflicts with the pastor.

3.           Sexual lusts towards the opposite sex.

4.           Power struggles with church leadership.

5.           Conflicts in the home between husband/wife/children.

6.           Divisions within the local church.

7.           Physical health of the pastor.

8.           Attempts to remove the pastor.

9.           Discouragement over the ministry.

10.     Depression from total discouragement.

11.     Temptation to compromise truth to please people.

C.           Subtle Attacks

1.           An unhealthy concern about money.

2.           An unhealthy desire to be successful.

3.           An unhealthy desire to be praised by men.

4.           An unhealthy view of one’s importance which results in pride.

5.           An unhealthy view of being busy.

6.           An unhealthy view that thinks one’s example is not as valuable as what one says.

7.           An unhealthy view of the church where expectations are too high and one is crushed by betrayals.

8.           An unhealthy view of work whereby one becomes lazy and indifferent.

9.           An unhealthy understanding of God’s plan whereby one becomes angry with God when things don’t go as planned.

10.     An unhealthy view of knowledge whereby one becomes unteachable with no desire to learn.


II.                           Conflicts With People

A.         Personality Conflicts Within the Church

1.           Conflicts with the Congregation

2.           Conflicts with the Staff

3.           Conflicts within the Leadership (Elders, Deacons)

4.           Conflicts with Other Pastors

B.         How to Settle Conflicts

1.           There are Three Opportunities in Conflict (1 Cor. 10:31; 11:1)

a.           The opportunity to glorify God.

b.           The opportunity to serve others.

c.            The opportunity to be like Christ.

2.           The Need for Confession (Prov. 28:13; Matt. 7:3-5)

a.           Address all the parties involved.

b.           Avoid words like “if” or “but” or “maybe.”

c.            Admit specifically to the accusation or sin.

d.           Apologize with humility to the person wronged.

e.           Accept all the consequences of your actions.

f.             Alter your behavior immediately.

g.           Ask the offended party for forgiveness.

3.           The Basic Steps for Resolving Conflict (Prov. 19:11; Matt. 5:23-24; 18:15-20).

a.           Overlook minor offenses in the other person.

b.           Talk to the person in private.

c.            If not satisfied with the person’s response, then go a second time, taking one to two others.

d.           If there is still no satisfaction with the response, then tell it to the whole church.

e.           If there is still no satisfactory response, then treat the person as an unbeliever.

4.           The Results of Forgiveness (1 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 4:32).

a.           I will not think about the incident.

b.           I will not bring the incident up and use it against the person who has been forgiven.

c.            I will not talk to others about the incident.

d.           I will not allow this incident to stand between the other person and me nor will I let it hinder our relationship.

5.           The Proper Way to Negotiate (Phil. 2:3-4; Eccl. 9:16).

a.           Prepare by studying all aspects of the situation.

b.           Always positively affirm your relationship with the other person.

c.            Understand the other person’s interests by listening very carefully.

d.           Try always to search for creative solutions to the problem.

e.           Evaluate all the options objectively and reasonably.