Dealing with Leadership Disagreement within the Ranks – Nu Leadership Series

“A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten.”
John F. Kennedy

Ideally, good people, with similar values, would always agree. This isn’t always the case, however. Malphurs, author of Value-Driven Leadership, advocates that an organization’s core values signal its bottom line. What happens when a crisis challenges these core values? For example, President Bush has garnished increased criticism for our stay in Iraq. Newly released documents, transcribed from top-level Iraqi meetings, support that Iraq had long ended its nuclear weapons program. Good people on both sides of this issue disagree. Tempers are flared. Personal attacks are launched. How does a leader bring these opposing sides together?

Fortunately, Christian history is filled with such matters. Acts 15 records Paul and Barnabas’ missionary split. No compromised was reached. Barnabas took John Mark and Paul took Silas. Severson, author of Teaming in Ministry, maintains that both men just left it alone and didn’t turn it into a spiritual maturity issue. Clearly, people of God must pray that God intervenes in these situations. We must also be patience for God’s answer. In haste, we often take our gut feeling as God’s approval of our choices.

Therefore, Religious leaders have an obligation to secure disagreement among them. Don’t let division dilute your effectiveness. Build your organization by fostering good values. Start today!


Hanley, C. (March 20, 2006). On tapes, saddam says iraq didn’t have wmd. Knoxville News- Sentinels, A16.

Severson, D. (2005). Teaming in Ministry: The Affinity. Christian Standard. Received on March 31, 2006 from

Malphurs, A. (1996). Values-Driven Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Bakers Books.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green