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 setting. In this podcast episode from BYQ I want to look a bit deeper at the origins of conflict, but also talk about how there is value in conflict. I have some excellent help in having that conversation today. Over a year ago I interviewed pastor Steve Kerhoulus on gauging the right time to leave a church. We titled that podcast, Should I Stay or Should I Go. You can go back in our website and listen to that again here. Well, Steve is back and together we’re going to have a good talk we believe will be of tremendous help to you on the subject of conflict. We will certainly try to get a long as we have this conversation.
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
Today we are going to talk about the preverbal elephant in the room, and that is what to do when there is conflict in the church, or even conflict in your own life. How do you respond when people in your church do not get along. Perhaps one of the saddest thing a pastor ever witnesses is when people are not getting along in his church. I’ve seen it and I know many others have to. Conflict in the church drives people away from the church and sadly, their perception of God is shaped by what they witnessed in a church. I remember someone coming to me once and his words broke my heart. He said, Pastor, I can no longer attend here with all this tension. It led me to pray for renewal and work hard for it. In this podcast interview we talk to Pastor Eric Anderson who is open
and very candid about how he managed through, and survived conflict. Eric even speaks about the nature of conflict, the value of conflict and even how it made him a better shepherd to a hurting group of people. Eric lives deep in the cold flat lands of MN and pastors LifeSpring Church, a reformed church belonging to the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. He is married to Miriam for over 11 years and both he and Mariam have eight children; five girls and three boys ranging from 19 years old to a 1 year old. You will be blessed listening to this wonderful story of how to thrive where there is conflict.
Here are some of the resources Eric referred to:
Antagonists In The Church click here!
I also highly recommend Thriving Through Church Conflict click here!