Intervention in church conflict
from the entry by Alexandria Skinner in JustPeace:
There is no such thing as a church without conflict. If your church has a conflict, that is something to be thankful for! Conflict means that people are engaged in the life of the church and that they have interests they care about. It is healthy for a church to acknowledge that it has some conflict, for then the causes of conflict can be brought to light and addressed, hopefully in a way that leaves people feeling like they have a better understanding of each other, of each other’s goals, and happy about the end result.
Indeed, the goal of peacemaking in a congregation is not to snuff out conflict and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Nor is it to go to war to route out various factions. In between these two options is a middle ground.
Conflict actually provides the opportunity for us to communicate, to discuss differences and similarities, to really listen to and hear each other, and to forge solutions which meet the needs of the congregation without harming each other and which actually lead to healing and reconciliation. The goal is not simply to “resolve” conflict by putting a lid on it. Rather, the goal is conflict transformation: to transform the conflict into an opportunity for growth and healing.
In the meantime, how to do achieve such an idealistic result? Is it possible? In one word: yes! If conflict is dealt with appropriately.
Read the whole entry.