LEADING FROM ALIGNMENT EPISODE 237: MANAGING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM PART 1 – MANAGING CONFLICT

by | May 14, 2024 | Difficult people, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor | 0 comments

Conflict . . .  for most leaders, the bane of their existence. Something to be postponed instead of embraced. And yet, a leader’s unwillingness to embrace conflict is one of the most limiting factors in his or her leadership journey. In today’s episode John and Jim unpack a biblical and practical approach to a problem most of us would rather avoid . . . managing conflict.

 

Difficult people

  • Difficult people go to church.
  • Not all people who go to church are difficult. The vast majority are not. But the few who are difficult can make life miserable for a leader.
  • Pastors who intend on leading for the long-haul need steel in their spine. And that includes periodically dealing directly, honestly, and lovingly with difficult people.

 

The Apostle Paul’s approach

  • “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Titus 3:10-11 (NIV).
  • Tough calls with people who behave badly require a great deal of thought, prayer, wisdom, and humility. When pastors avoid these kinds of confrontations, they suffer, their church suffers, and so does the divisive person. Everybody loses.
  • “But isn’t the confrontational approach unloving?” Nope. One of the kindest and most biblically sound things a pastor can do for a difficult person in their church is to tell them truth, wrapped with massive amounts of love.

 

Final Thoughts:

  • Dodging tough calls is not loving. Allowing difficult people to have their way with you and the church you pastor is not leadership.
  • When difficult people try to divide your church: two warnings, and no more.
  • Nobody said leading was easy. And if they did, they were lying to you.
  • Conflict management obstacles:
    • Lack of permission.
    • Lack of education.
    • Lack of understanding.

 

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