Another way to describe this tension in the Church would be to use parents as an illustration. Let’s imagine three or four couples along with their children, having a dinner party at someone’s house. The kids are in the back yard playing while the parents are relaxing over coffee and conversation. There is apparent unity and consensus among them as they enjoy each other’s company.
However, when the children come into the living room to join the conversation so does the potential for friction as the different parenting styles become evident. Everyone keeps their thoughts to themselves but on the ride home each car is filled with comments like “I can’t believe they let their kids act that way,” or “They are so mean to their children,” or “That’s not how I would deal with that situation”. These parents got along until the children came into the room.
This family analogy can also illustrate the sentiments between ministers of the Gospel. It may be easy to get along with other ministers, even from different camps, until the sheep (children) are in the room. Suddenly the gifting in each minister wants to impact the people of God according to their abilities. We sometimes presume we know what the people of God “really” need. Instead of each of us affirming and preferring the other ministers, we can doubt their validity.
Sometimes just being in the same room with someone with a different ministry gift can drive you “bonkers” as they seem to over react or under react to certain things. They can appear to be too intellectual or over spiritual. It is difficult to appreciate where they are coming from and why they are coming from there in the first place! But as we mature we will be able to love and really appreciate them and their ministries just like our Heavenly Father does. Remember… Jesus is building His church. It’s the leadership of our churches that must decide if they are going to be part of the bigger picture. If we fail to be mature in this area our churches and our communities will deteriorate from a place of “completing” each other to a place of “competing” with each other.
Excerpt from “Working Together For Jesus”