What is conflict?

By Gaylyn Williams, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Reconcilable Differences front coverDefine Conflict

Every person who has been in ministry for any length of time has experienced conflict.

A church or ministry is as susceptible to conflict as any other group. No matter how much you and others in your ministry want to serve God and advance his kingdom, you’re still affected by the fall, which means you will inevitably experience conflict.

What is conflict? Eric Reed says in “Leadership” magazine that conflict can take many forms in a church or ministry:

  • Gossip and slander can poison a whole ministry.
  • Unresolved tensions in teams, missions and congregations.
  • Prolonged family conflicts can lead to rebellious children or bitter divorce.
  • Deadlocks on committees can cripple needed ministries.
  • People taking stands based on religious beliefs can succumb to self-righteousness and judgmentalism.
  • Disputes between members who do business with one another can lead to lawsuits.

I (Gaylyn) attended a church where I was appalled to hear the associate pastors putting the senior pastor down. They didn’t agree with the way he made decisions. They have a right to disagree; however, people should not be slamming each other, especially ministry leaders slamming others.

Any time a conflict between two people is not properly resolved, it can infect an entire congregation or ministry. You cannot prevent conflict in Christian ministries. However, how believers respond to conflict, determines whether it is prevented from developing further or allowed to progress to destroy the ministry. Conflict can actually strengthen relationships, if it is handled well—both in personal and ministry relationships.

Conflicts will come. Are you, your family and your ministry prepared to respond?

While these statistics, (which are similar for any ministry, not just churches) may look frightening, there is hope. You don’t have to become a statistic, but it will take choices on your part.

Excerpted from Reconcilable Differences, a free eBook. Click the link to download it today.

We are available to do training on managing conflict. Click to learn more or to contact us.

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