Issue #39: Tackling Conflict Head On
Pastors come in all different temperaments. Some are hard-charging individuals that let ambitions drive them forward. Others are slow plodders that methodically accomplish their tasks. Some are outgoing extraverts. Others tend to find solace in silence and away from crowds.
Regardless of the type of personality, gifts, or temperaments pastors have, one thing every pastor must do is correctly handle conflict. Conflict is inevitable in leadership. This is especially true in churches because they are filled with people.
But not every leader deals with conflict when it comes. Many avoid it. Pastors can’t afford the problems this breeds.
This is the topic of this week’s newsletter.
Conflict isn’t about arguing with others. Conflict is about dealing with the issues that can tank our church’s mission or unity. If there are issues between staff members, don’t ignore it and let it grow larger. Address it head on. Pull them together and get the issues on the table.
If you know there is a family bad-mouthing leadership or the direction of the church to others, meet with them. Let them know you have heard about their complaints. Ask them to share their concerns with you. Challenge them about the method of how they’ve voiced their concerns and frustrations and show them the biblical way to deal with things.
When a leader and/or church gets a reputation for dealing with conflict head on, it helps squelch things before they grow larger. If people know there is accountability, it deters unhealthy behavior.
But many leaders fear conflict. They are afraid to hear bad things. They don’t want to upset people or cause folks to leave. The irony is when we fail to deal with conflict it weakens the church and makes it more susceptible to reasons why people will leave.
1 Actionable Tip
Don’t let conflict linger. Deal with it quickly when it arises, lest it grow larger and cause more problems.
Avoiding conflict is like ignoring cancer. The quicker you catch cancer, the better the chances of survival. But when cancer symptoms are ignored out of fear, it grows worse, sometimes to the point of no return. Conflict works in a similar way. If we do not address issues when we see them, they will grow worse. Things that could have been fixed early in the process, grow large enough to wreck the church’s health.
Don’t let this happen under your watch. Choose the hard path. Tackle the problems and fight for health and unity in your church.
Opportunities for Students & College Age Young Adults
Are you helping the students and college-age kids in your church stand firm against the opposition coming at them in the culture? If you’re not actively equipping them on issues of gender and sexuality, you can be sure the culture is. We’re here to help.
Join us October 13-15 at Black Mountain, NC (at Ridgecrest Conference Center). An incredible line of speakers will be teaching students about who they are as image-bearers of God. These foundations will supply students with important understanding of their identity. Plan to bring your students. It’s going to be a fantastic conference.