Let me start with a question, maybe a bit tongue in cheek. What if during this Covid 19 season while the church has been fasting from meeting corporately that the antagonist in the church have had a huge change of heart and are now determined to come back fully supporting the pastor and the church leaders?
Well, we hope this would be, but I would imagine that the pastor and church leader will in time be under attack again. I am sure for many pastors this break has been a reprieve from ongoing attack and criticism from what our guest today refers to as hero persecutors. Similar to how Satan left Jesus to tempt him again at an opportune time, I have no doubt that this respite for the pastor from attack, will resume again, at an opportune time. What do leaders need to do and understand when the church becomes a toxic environment? How can the church nurture a climate where the work of the gospel thrives even when there is conflict? I have the privilege in this Before You Quit podcast to look at these questions with with Dr. Chris Creech, author of the book Toxic Church.
Chris Creech and his wife, Faith, have been in ministry for over forty years. During this time they have served in pastoral ministry for over twenty-eight years in five churches, including one church they planted in Toronto. Chris earned an M.Div. and Ph. D. from Southwestern Seminary. He has taught at seminaries in Singapore and Malaysia as resident faculty and as adjunct faculty at other seminaries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Currently they are serving Pinnacle Ministries as Directors of Pastoral/Missions/Church Health and as adjuncts in several Asian and US seminaries.
Let me start with an analogy that will help lead us into this conversation about disorientation in ministry. As a a pilot, one of the things I had to learn early on in my training was how to recover from a situation in flying called Spatial Disorientation, define as the inability of a person to correctly determine his/her body position in space. READ MORE
Have you ever wondered why there is so often conflict in the church? On the surface, you would think that those who come together for a common purpose of worship and serving Jesus would all get a long, but its often not that way. One reason is I think we underestimate the impact of people gathering together for that singular goal and expected to get along, but in reality often we gather with people who we might not necessarily interact with in any other setti READ MORE
I talk to a lot of people who are trying to deal with conflict in their lives. I’ve come to the conclusion, following hundreds of conversations, that most conflict is unintended. In other words, I rarely meet people who are READ MORE
Let me say at the onset that I am all for prayer. I believe deeply in prayer. I pray often. I have seen answers to prayer that on their own prove the existence of God. So, when I set out READ MORE
The enemy will do all he can to interrupt the mission of the church, usually in the form of conflict. I have on many occasions brought people together who were involved in petty, or major conflict, and said, “Folks, this READ MORE
It’s generally accepted that most people leave churches because of personal conflict, not because of theological differences. We hear too often of churches that are hurting because of conflict and sometimes this pain can last for years. Is it possible God is behind that pain more than we might think? READ MORE
Many pastors and ministry workers struggle in relationships with colleagues who share their passion for the gospel. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of team or staff situations where two people or two families, both committed to the same mission, READ MORE
What is better than resolving conflict? Avoiding conflict! Or at least seeing conflict as healthy to the strength of your church. In our last podcast interview we talked to Ken Sande, of Peacemaker Ministry about the value and importance of bringing about resolution to conflict. In his 30 years in this ministry, Ken also discovered principles and lessons that he placed in his toolbox to start a new ministry, called Relational Wisdom 360.
Often when difficult people are confronted for bad behavior it’s easier for them to run somewhere else than stay and work it out. I love it when the circle of restoration that began with confronting sin, and then leads to repentance and confession is completed in reconciliation. Sadly, I’ve not seen it often. I remember in a church I pastored, the leadership warned a divisive man to stop organization a secret petition against the elders and step down from teaching his popular Sunday school class. Remarkably, he did, and a year latter, in humility, he resumed his teaching and served many years as a model of what happens when peacemaking is allowed to run its course. That is where peacemaking really works. READ MORE