Who Likes Conflict?

ConflictWho likes conflict? I know we are taught that being conflict-avoidant is a personality flaw. On the other hand, who would want to be part of a congregation where everyone just loved confrontation? A little conflict avoidance is sometimes a sign of health. 

Of course, as in families and at work, conflict is inevitable in congregations. Since conflict is as old as Cain and Abel, I want to remind you of a resource that goes back a ways but is still very helpful. Former Alban consultant Speed Leas observed patterns of conflict in congregations and developed a typology of different levels of conflict. The challenge is to address the conflict earlier rather than later. Get to the difficult conversation this week. Don’t wait until it gets even worse. Treat the cut now, rather than let it turn into an abscess. 

Read through these levels. Do some self-diagnosis on behalf of your congregation. Then give the Center a call or send me an email at tshapiro@centerforcongregations.org. We can talk about this and other resources that will help you address conflict in balanced ways.

Tim Shapiro