Anyone who has served in a position of leadership knows that conflict is part of the job description. Business owners, managers and team leaders face conflict on a regular basis. Most of the time the conflict comes from outside the team as they face challenges with competitors, unsatisfied customers, a changing marketplace or while in the development stage. However, there are times when conflicts arise between team members, between the team and the leaders or between the leaders.
The Christian church is not exempt from conflict. In fact we are more prone to conflict. Christian leaders deal with the same struggles as other leaders, but we also have the added challenge of dealing more directly with the battle between the spiritual and the natural. The additional aspect that pastors, ministers and Christian leaders face increases the amount and intensity of potential conflicts.
Conflict is one of the hardest things that pastors, ministers and ministry leaders deal with. It is also far more prevalent than many Christian leaders would like to admit. If not handled correctly, conflict can lead to church splits, the destruction of ministries or support and participation can both decrease. Most importantly people are hurt and our witness is compromised. This leaves people turned off rather than drawn to Christ.
Christian leaders should be experts in dealing with and resolving conflict. The Bible gives us an overwhelming amount of information about conflicts, why they occur and how to deal with them. Consider that we see the first conflict in Genesis chapter three and the final conflict is resolved at the end of Revelation.
There are four types of conflicts that we as ministry leaders should pay close attention to. They are the conflicts between God and man, with the demonic kingdom, the conflict between people and the internal conflicts that we have with ourselves. All other conflicts stem from one or more of these areas. Christian leaders are far more effective in dealing with daily struggles if we start by identifying the root causes and then develop resolutions that deal with the real problems rather than the symptoms.
The minister’s candidate conference call this month will focus on conflicts in Christian leadership. Post any questions you have about conflicts in leadership or ministry and we will address them specifically.
Blessings,Dr. David M. SmuinPresidentNCCChurch.org@DaveSmuinblogging at www.pastordave.smuin.org