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Embracing Conflict in the Church

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There’s an unhealthy presupposition in a large majority of churches in America that conflict is bad and should be avoided at all costs. After all if we’re all Christians shouldn’t we all just somehow magically get along? When conflict is avoided all kinds of negative things happen. But when it’s handled well, even properly encouraged it can be a team leaders greatest asset.

Healthy Conflict is a Pathway to Intimacy

When conflict is pressed into instead of shied away from, the team learns to address issues in an honest and straightforward manner. Attacking the problem, not the person. The best ideas are allowed to surface, unhealthy behavior is corrected, and the mission of the church takes ground. The best byproduct of healthy conflict is it provides the opportunity for greater depths of trust to be built on the team. By the way if you’re looking for a healthy model for Biblical conflict check out Matthew 18.

Unhealthy Conflict is a Pathway to Dysfunction

Unhealthy conflict leads to politics, posturing, and silos. Among other things a culture of enablement is built, problems get bigger, passive aggressive behavior is more common, and rumors abound. Ultimately the unity of the team is at stake and the advancement of the mission of the church slows to a crawl at best.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

One Response to “Embracing Conflict in the Church”

  1. Bill Weisler July 24, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Patrick Lencioni does a great job of showing how healthy conflict is necessary for a well performing team in his book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. When there is never any conflict you usually find that there is one or two people who rule the roost and no one ever disagrees with their ideas or has their own.

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