Navigating Church Conflicts - Part 1

It's what we humans do best, war. When it enters the church, chaos. Even the early church faced conflicts. Here, two women slugging it out in Philippi.Young pastors are often blindsided by power groups and mean folk. Dan Reiland says leaders can't avoid conflicts; they must learn to manage them. Thom Rainer lists five stages to a pastor's ministry. Stage 2? Conflicts and challenges. (Video 10:36). LifeWay says it's the second most common reason pastors burn out (first is change of call). Ed Stetzer warns a multicultural ministry is a recipe for conflict. Rainer observes a common symptom in dysfunctional churches: severe conflict. There are even "pastor-eater" congregations; they'll eat you alive. Woah! 

The five most frequent conflict issues here, including length of service and length of sermon. And more... like these 25 frivolous fights, including the length of the worship pastor's beard; to install restroom stall dividers in the women's washroom (or not) yikes!; which picture of Jesus to put in the foyer (the most recent, of course); should it be called "potluck" or "pot blessing"  (the comments are fascinating).

How to manage and resolve conflict? The CNBC website has many helpful resources. This article says don't ignore, don't confront beligerently, don't simply pray. Carey Nieuwhof gives 7 healthy ways to resolve conflict, including this intriguing question, what's it like to be on the other side of mePeacemakers Ministry has 7 Keys to Reconciliation, one of which is acknowledge the hurt. Our equip website has a five session course on PeacemakingHere's six principles to use dealing with conflict, including anticipate conflict by looking for red flags. Don't be naive ...

All that and we didn't even mention church music conflict. It's one for the ages.