Effective Ministry and opposition
Towards the end of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes, "I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me." (1. Corinthians 16:8-9).
Effective ministry and opposition go together. There are those from the outside who oppose us. This is likely who Paul was referring to in this instance. If we preach and live the gospel, people will oppose us. This opposition might come from a conflict of worldviews and beliefs. It might be a matter of economics. If God is using this church to break people's addictions, those that rely upon those addictions for economic gain might take notice of our presence and encourage us to go someplace else.
Opposition can also come from the "inside." From people who are pushing personal agendas to the detriment of the church. People who are seeking position and influence. People who are simply disagreeable. People who are teaching false doctrines. Church Plants tend to attract more than there fair share of people who come with hidden agendas. Although we can't be looking for false motives behind every word and action (that's just looking for trouble), we do need to be firm in what God is calling us to and not waiver from it.
Ministry Effectiveness will come with opposition. Don't think that opposition means its time to give up or go some place. Instead, stay on as Paul did so that the Gospel can go forth. Pray for strength, courage, faith, hope, grace, love, and perseverance. Pray for unity in the body. Seek wisdom that comes from a multitude of counselors and a plurality of leadership. If you are in error, seek forginess and reconciliation. But if you are not in error, stand firm and be resilient.
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