The Rev. Jay Lawlor looks at extensive congregational development resources on identifying and managing conflict in congregations.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US, March 10, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Rev. Jay Lawlor offers the following reflection on identifying and managing conflict in congregations. He indicates not all conflict is negative, but every level of conflict must be properly identified and managed.
Conflict at its most basic level is difference between two or more points of view or ways things should be done. In my experience I have found addressing conflict from the perspective of our common mission as the church where we are first, and foremost, the Body of Christ. In that we recognize we need one another, every one of us together, even when we disagree. Through this we establish a culture of listening, caring, and covenants/norms of how we interact with one another as members of the Body of Christ.
We strive to speak and listen in love, engage in transparent and respectful conversations, and seek how God might be trying to expand our understanding when someone offers a view different from our own. In every conversation, as we speak and listen in love, the goal is to arrive at how it serves our common mission as a community of faith. Taking time to pray together, and to learn with and from each other, opens a community to engage in honest conversation with love and respect. So when there is conflict, we can be patient, understanding, and loving as we engage in respectful conversation of differing views and not lose sight of our common mission. Managing conflict in such a way is grounded in our Baptismal Covenant to to ‘seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself’ and ‘ strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.’
In vital congregations conflict is managed with clear practices/processes. By having practices/processes in place, congregational leaders can respond effectively. As the Church, it is important that our management of conflict expresses our values and teachings as a community of followers of Jesus who are living into God’s mission of reconciliation.
The Rev. Jay Lawlor provides more detailed discussion and extensive resources at https://www.therevjaylawlor.com/missionprojects/congregationalvitality/healthy-practices-conflict-management/
The Rev. Jay Lawlor
The Rev. Jay Lawlor
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Source: EIN Presswire