There’s nothing more challenging interpersonally than dealing with a serious conflict with someone on your church staff or a volunteer in a key position in your ministry.
The temptation would be to let time heal it or hope that the tension simply goes away on its own. But fight those feelings because conflict in the church, especially on a team, has to be dealt with well in order for genuine progress to be made.
Can’t we all just get along? Actually, no, and that’s probably a good thing because it forces us to tackle conflict in a God-honoring manner. Here are some steps to move toward resolution when you find yourself in conflict with someone on staff.
1. Be the bigger person. Someone is going to have to lead with humility—might as well be you. How would this relationship change if you decided to take action and humble yourself (right or wrong in the matter that caused the division) and begin a conversation to rebuild trust and love? Until someone does this, any progress in the situation will just be an outward act covering up a pain-filled heart. Unresolved conflict eats away at your job satisfaction, your vision and your heart. Don’t let it happen!
2. Take a small step forward. A simple note, gesture or gift can go a long way. Could you find an excuse to give them a small token of your love for them—even if it’s never acknowledged or reciprocated? Continually take small steps forward. Mixed with time, this is a powerful way to break down walls.
3. Talk them up to other people. People can usually sniff out when someone is in tension with another person—in fact, most churches specialize in spreading that information around gleefully, it seems. When you talk positively about the person in conflict, you are disarming the potential for a greater divide in the church—and not forcing people to take sides. Plus, it is surprising (and won’t take long) for word to get back to that person, too!
4. Pray for healing. Often the “right” answer is to pray for the situation—in this case, it’s no different. You have to ask God to mend what is broken and heal what areas are infected. Conflict between people who work together every day can, and has, claimed many churches. Don’t let yours be one of them!
Who do you need to take a small step forward with today?
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today's free newsletter. For the original article, visit morethandodgeball.com.