Discouraging Conflict During Change is Unhealthy for a Church

When a church discourages conflict, it fails to make the kinds of changes necessary for ongoing health and relevance.

By conflict, I’m not talking about personalized or politicized confrontations!  Rather, healthy conflict is an honest debate–sometimes heated–over competing values.  Healthy conflict focuses on how best to accomplish our mission and what is in the best interest of the greater good.  It requires kingdom thinking.

We often forget how much healthy conflict Jesus encouraged.  He constantly challenged the religious elitism of his day.  He challenged racism and sexism.  He raised issues with his disciples on a regular basis.  Jesus never minimized or avoided conflict.

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2 thoughts on “Discouraging Conflict During Change is Unhealthy for a Church

  1. A friend of mine attends a church that underwent great upheaval several years ago, with (sadly) confrontations with the pastor that disintegrated into a split that exists to this day; many people left and joined another church all together. She was talking about it recently and says that, with friends who went to the new church, they’ve simply had to avoid the topic completely. It’s the only way to stay friends.

    It’s that kind of church structure, the “institution” of it, I guess, that has turned so many people away. We’re looking for something more, a more intimate relationship with Jesus, I would say. I am enjoying (and being inspired by) “The Gathering” by Ray Barnett. It’s a serious call to reformation for the church. It takes back to our roots as the simple gathering of Jesus by systematically and thoroughly examining the foundations of what God actually says about being a local church. And it’s chock-ful of examples and stories, which I thoroughly enjoy. Anyone involved in religion, in God and Jesus, in Scripture, will find food for thought.

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