Conflict Resolution

July 12, 2016 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

Christians are redeemed by the finished work of Christ. However, they are still sinners. That sin, when not mortified, produces selfish conduct. That selfish conduct leads to conflict. A study completed by the Hartford Seminary revealed that 85% of church conflict is driven by control issues. The issue may be finances, types of music, or any number of other factors. But, mark it down, the issue is seldom the real issue. The issue is almost never one of doctrinal significance. The real issue is inordinate CONTROL which always produces conflict.

An article titled 7 reasons People Leave Their Church reveals that relational conflict plays a major role.

Marginal church members tend to drop out at the first hint of even minor interpersonal conflict. Very active members are more resilient, recognizing that church members are not perfect. But, if the conflict becomes severe, some of the very active church members will leave as well.

People seldom if ever disclose the true reason for their departure. There should always be an Exit Interview conducted when people leave. Much valuable insight is gained through this process.

So how should a church deal with conflict? Apply the ‘Barney Fife Principle – nip it in the bud!’ Here are the steps for addressing church conflict.

1. Pray for wisdom and much grace in dealing with all parties.

2. Get the facts, the real story and validate their accuracy before addressing the issue.

3. Address the participants individually before bringing them together. Their accounts of the issue will differ.

4. Bring the parties together face to face and present the issue objectively.

5. Apply the appropriate biblical texts to the situation and get genuine consensus from all parties that they will abide by what the Scripture declares.

6. Follow up and monitor the conduct and relationship of the parties involved.

7. Conflict will always get worse not better if permitted to go unresolved – deal with it in a timely, biblical, and comprehensive manner.

Churches split, the gospel is maligned and the Name of Christ suffers because of unresolved conflict.

There are approximately 19,000 church splits each year in the American church. That is 50/day! This figure is supplied by Peacemakers.net. This is an organization focused on equipping churches to avoid church splits.

So, are the relationships healthy in the church where you serve?

 

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