Continuing on with the theme of “surviving and thriving in the local church” I wrote this article about dealing with conflict in the church. The enemy would like nothing more than to have us divided and defeated as a local Body, so we must stay vigilant in these areas of life and ministry.
With passionate people, friction is inevitable. It’s up to you how you handle it. As Brady Boyd put it when speaking to our leaders, “Throw the grenade on the table if you have to, but not at each other.” Personal attacks (ad hominem) rarely relate to the real issues at hand. Therefore, avoid them. Beware of labeling people and name calling. Stick with discussing the issues involved.
First identify your feelings. Is it frustration, anger, fatigue, or something else?
Is it external issues like job stress, family problems, team issues or is it internal issues such as power struggles, emotional woundedness or personality difference?
Step back and pray. Decide how you going to respond. You must have self-control. Check yourself according to Matthew 7. What is YOUR issue? Deal with yourself first. Don’t run from an issue, but pick your battles. Some things aren’t worth pursuing.
No matter what you are dealing with, Do you have this heart in you? –1 Thess 5:11-15
Comfort each other
Edify (build up) one another
Recognize (honor) your fellow brother or sister
Recognize (honor) leadership and esteem them for their work
Be at peace among yourselves
Warn those who are unruly (out of line)
Comfort the fainthearted
Uphold the weak
Be patient with all
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone (no pay backs)
Always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all (don’t be selfish)