Tag Archives | conflict

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Tolerating Bad Behavior in the Church

This morning as I was driving to one of the churches in my district I listened to the radio to get caught up on the news. It was all about President Trump’s tweets regarding the NFL and the National Anthem, escalating tensions with North Korea, and the impact of the latest hurricane on Puerto Rico. […]

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Why We Fight

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?

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Hello my name is Jerk

Rules for Not Being a Jerk

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?

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How to Avoid Fighting About Stupid Things

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 […]

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“Talk Amongst Yourselves”

“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.”

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After the Earthquake: Congregations after the U.S. Election

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?

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Surviving Congregational Conflict

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.

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