Mar 17, 2022

Lessons I have learned in working with church conflict


After many years of working with churches that find themselves in conflictual situations, I have come to the conclusion that there are six non-negotiable principles if there is to be a successful outcome.

First, an outside facilitator is usually necessary. The nature of conflict is that people take sides so it becomes very difficult for anyone from within to play the role of a neutral mediator. In...

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Mar 05, 2022

Seeking a life of Peace in a world of conflict

We live in an increasingly fractured world: Divided by politics, race, international conflicts, and personal slights and offenses that become the grounds for division. The sad thing is not that such fracturing is commonplace but that it has become commonplace among God’s people and in our families and congregations. We divide over theological and personal differences; over politics; over offenses...

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Sep 17, 2021

Practicing "normalizing conversations" when there is conflict


There are many things that can introduce conflict or awkwardness into relationships: disagreements; words spoken; actions or even second hand conversations that come back to us. It can cause us to back away from a relationship, suspect that others don't have our best interests in mind and create an invisible wall between two individuals. It happens in families, among friends and in the workplace...

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Jan 01, 2019

Why the minority voice often wins on church boards and within congregations and what to do about it

It is very frustrating to those that make up the majority when a minority voice is able to determine the outcome of church issues. This can take place at the board level or within congregations even when the polity is one where the majority should be able to move forward. Unfortunately it is all too common and church leaders often allow it to happen. In my experience, there are a number of tactics...
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Oct 26, 2018

Two key reasons for confict within organizations

Think about these equations:

Healthy people + wrong role = conflict
Unhealthy people + wrong role = conflict
Unhealthy people + right role = conflict
Healthy people + right role = effectiveness

These equations illustrate three truths. First, it explains why conflict is so prevalent within organizations. Second, it illustrates the importance of hiring healthy individuals who have good EQ and understand...
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Sep 25, 2018

When there is not adequate organizational clarity

If there is one thing that many organizations lack it is crystal clear clarity about who they are, what they want to accomplish and how they are going to get there. This is especially true of non-profits and ministries as the profit motive is not the driving factor. In fact, clarity is the glue that holds the organization together as it grows. In my consulting with numerous non-profits I have...
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Sep 09, 2018

Staying away from those whose presence brings with it controversy, conflict and division

As you read the following description, think about whether you have met people like them. 

When they are present, they bring with them controversy, conflict and dissention. They seem to be most interested in themselves rather than in others and in their wake they leave broken relationships, confusion and people taking sides. They can be brilliant, visionary, persuasive and win the debate but when...
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