A pastor friend recently wrote me with this excellent question. How would you advise him?
I pastor a church that at one time was a wannabe Saddleback (only exponentially smaller), dispensational, Arminian congregation. When I began to lead we benefitted much from 9 marks and advice from Mark and his crew. We have elders, we preach expositionally and we are pretty unified. My question is “how much unity is necessary among those who are teaching?” I serve with faithful and godly elders and deacons, but spending much of their life under different teaching has heavily influenced them and they continue to teach the default positions. For instance, eschatology. Something that is always controversial and something not worthy of dividing over. But there is obvious tension between my classes and preaching and other elders’ views. And we all know eschatology is far more than just future events; it’s at the core of the overlap of the ages and the way we interpret scripture in general. Anyway, this is not the only issue, but it is a good example of something important but not essential. If the senior pastor is the lead visionary and lead teacher, how do we handle other elders who are strongly in disagreement with particular views? We all laugh about our differences, try to persuade one another sometimes, and continue to love each other like crazy; I just wonder what effect this has on the congregation. Any thoughts? Is this just my own pride in wanting my view to win the day?