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.
Tag Archives | conflict
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 […]
by David Brubaker on April 11, 2016
In the last 50 years, much of our new understanding of congregational life emerged from the social sciences, while less attention has been given to the spirituality of congregations and their leaders. Social science has contributed a great deal, but some questions remain stubbornly unanswered. Why can some leaders provide principled leadership for decades while […]
by David Brubaker on February 22, 2016
Nearly every congregation has a hushed story about one. That “awful meeting” in which participants said terrible things, relationships were shattered, and permanent scars resulted. In their 1999 study of “Breakaway Organizations,” Dyck and Stark found that a “polarizing event” (usually a painful congregational meeting) was almost always the precipitating factor for a congregational schism […]
by David Brubaker on December 7, 2015
Healthy congregations share three characteristics that over time produce effective internal community and external ministry: a clear center, permeable boundaries, and an outward focus.
by Dan Hotchkiss on April 13, 2015
by Dan Hotchkiss“The ayes have it.” Curt put down his hand and looked across the table at Priscilla, who had also voted “no.” Priscilla smiled, shrugged, and joined the chatter about how to ask the membership to ratify the board’s decision. Curt was not smiling. By five to two, the board had voted to tear […]
by Susan Beaumont on September 19, 2014
by Susan Beaumont A volunteer agrees to complete a task but fails to deliver, or delivers a less than satisfactory outcome. A leader violates an established behavioral standard. What do you do? How do you redeem the situation? Disappointment is inevitable when people are involved in ministry, but disappointment doesn’t have to be the final […]