Why is conflict so common in congregations? When we ask people what they are fighting about, the responses focus on the usual suspects—members’ behavior, money, worship, leadership style, and decision-making. But are these really the deepest causes of congregational conflict?
Tag Archives | conflict
by Sarai Rice on June 19, 2017
Most congregations have at least one jerk. You know who I mean—the one who takes up far more than one person’s share of time and energy and leaves the group feeling discouraged, disempowered, and exhausted. How can you be sure it isn’t you?
by Sarai Rice on January 30, 2017
by Sarai Rice Anxious people fight about stupid things. I learned this years ago, mostly from congregations. But I was reminded of it recently by a close encounter with party politics during the most recent election cycle, so I thought I would share a political example and prescribe a solution that almost always works to […]
by Lawrence Peers on January 23, 2017
“I’m a little verklempt.” When hot topics come up in congregations, we know we ought to have a conversation. But instead, like Linda Richman, Mike Myers’s character on Saturday Night Live, we get all “verklempt” and change the subject. Throwing out a random topic, in effect we say, “Talk amongst yourselves.”
by David Brubaker on November 28, 2016
Most Americans were surprised by the outcome of the November 8 election. More than 90% of Clinton supporters and a plurality of Trump supporters expected Clinton to emerge victorious. Congregational leaders faced a dilemma the following weekend. How does one speak both to those who were celebrating and those who were grieving?
by David Brubaker on October 31, 2016
High-intensity congregational conflict is brutal on congregational leaders. Even though conflict generally emerges from deeper congregational and societal dynamics, members are likely to assume that leaders’ incompetence must be at least partly responsible.
by Susan Nienaber on October 11, 2016
It’s very easy in our American culture to leave a church. No matter how hard pastors and lay leaders work to keep folks focused on mission instead of individual preferences, church attendance is often a consumer-driven phenomenon. If there is any kind of conflict brewing in a congregation the temptations to flee grow exponentially. It’s […]