How Would Jesus Respond to a Church Split?

How would Jesus deal with division in the church? (Pixabay/Fxq19910504)

Have you ever been a part of a church split? I know it can be one of the most painful things a family can go through. When your church is supposed to be your family, a church split can feel like a divorce! What I've learned is that so many church splits happen because of a spirit of denominationalism.

Let me explain: I had an encounter when I first moved to Redding and God said, "We're moving from denominationalism to apostleships, ask me what that means..." He went on to explain that in denominationalism people gather when they agree, and divide when they disagree. But in apostleships, people gather around fathers and family.

The idea that we have to agree to belong makes it impossible to have a thought that doesn't fall within the cultural construct of that particular church. This causes a culture of control and often manipulation, as the crowd has to think like the group in order to be considered a part of the family. If denominationalism is the cause of church splits, then today I want to propose to you that God's answer, and His heart for the body of Christ as a whole, is family.

This week, I want to encourage to step into your faith-family with greater levels of love.

In a nutshell:

  • In my encounter, the Lord said He is going to pour out revelation on this generation that has been held in the vault of heaven for eons of ages. However, if He pours it out on denominationalism then it would rip the wine skin.
  • Why? The nature of revelation is that you have a new idea, and new ideas are not welcome in a wineskin where you have to agree (denominationalism).
  • I'm not talking about denominations; I'm talking about denominationalism. It doesn't matter what it says over the door of your church, it just matters what you say over the door of your heart.
  • The denominational spirit is just as alive in some apostolic networks as it is in many churches with a denomination.
  • In denominationalism, church leaders preach don't preach to inspire, they preach to convince. Why? Because when you inspire people, you're causing them to think, which causes them to have an idea and therefore causes them to have an opinion.
  • Denominationalism doesn't like opinions because they could lead to disagreements, and under this spirit, disagreement causes splits and division.
  • In denominationalism, disagreement is seen as disloyalty. Therefore, there is no freedom for disagreement. Beyond that, how much you value someone is seen by how much you agree with them! What a controlling mess!
  • I'd love to suggest that you have permission to love anyone, whether they agree with you or not. This will keep you out of manipulating people into agreeing with you.
  • What's the overall point? We need a new wineskin!

Activation for the Week

Today I want to challenge you to choose family over agreement, and to champion freedom over control. Take some time to repent from partnering with denominationalism, and by that, I mean actually turn away from that thinking. Let's renew our minds so that love would be the lens through which we see our brothers and sisters!

This week, ask God to help you see someone who you disagree with in a new light—as your brother or sister. I pray that He would give you His heart for them, so that you'd be moved by compassion instead of competition in your conversations. In every interaction we have this week, let's choose family over agreement. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. How do you see us building the new wineskin of family?

Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California and cofounder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). Kris travels internationally, training and equipping people to successfully fulfill their divine purpose. He's a best-selling author, having written more than a dozen books and training manuals to help prepare believers for life in the kingdom. He has a diverse background in business, counseling, consulting, pastoring and teaching, which gives him unique leadership insights and perspectives. Kris has a passion to use his experience and his prophetic gift to assist world leaders in achieving their goals and accomplishing their mission.

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