If we are going to list skills church leaders should possess, conflict management needs to be one of them. The realities of church life dictate the importance of this task as no church seems to be exempt of disagreements, misunderstandings, and the like. Face it, we’re a diverse group of people with different personalities, preferences, and backgrounds. Whether the issues are with you as a leader or among the Body, you need to deal with it before it becomes divisive. Why? It contradicts the way of love and hence, our testimony. — “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Jn. 13:34-35) . . .
We come together in the Church with preconceived ideas and preprogrammed ways of doing things. Conflict is bound to happen as ideas clash, philosophies fail to gel, and methodology differs. The objective of getting each other on the same page “in Christ” therefore comes with its challenges.
What’s the Difference Between Good and Bad Conflict? . . .
Conflict turns bad in the church when it goes outside of the parameters of God’s love. Perhaps we can use the traits listed in 1 Corinthians 13 as our litmus test as “love never fails” (v. 8). You’ll find that some of the traits are worded positively and others negatively. We need the presence of certain traits and the absence of others for our disagreements to stay healthy and aligned with our purpose to love God and others. . . .
It takes a certain type of climate to cultivate healthy, godly reactions to differences, disagreements, and wrongs. We can learn how to build the kind of environment that prevents conflict by looking at the “one-another” commands of Scripture. They’re listed below to show how it takes not just the right kinds of words but also actions, and at the very core, the right attitudes to prevent conflict.It takes a certain type of climate to cultivate . . .
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the Church would get along all of the time? You might be thinking how much easier that would make your job as a leader! Ideally everyone in the Church should be able to come together “in Christ” truly accepting and loving one another despite our differences. Realistically, though, that’s not going to happen on this side of eternity for at least three reasons: . . .