Exploring the Intersections of Faith and Life


from May 14, 2007

We’re talking about conflict. There’s no getting around the fact that if you are going to lead the church into the future, that you will become very intimate with conflict. How it plays out has a lot to do with how we view it, and how we help others learn how to deal with it constructively.  Part of dealing effectively with conflict is understanding how we interact with the community in conflict – and thus, how we might contribute to the conflict.

Where do you see yourself:

1. Accommodates, pleases, or acts to take care of the other’s pain (gives in)
2. Focuses outside of self (on feelings of others, not self)
3. Connects emotionally (reacts to anything that might disrupt a relationship)
4. Sets vague, nebulous goals (changes with mood, events, etc.)
5. Seeks security (tries not to upset anyone)

1. Takes a stand (based on values – defines self to others without attacking others)
2. Focuses on self (self-aware, sees how self contributes to situations)
3. Stays connected to others (without getting enmeshed with others)
4. Sets clear goals (not sabotaged by other’s reactivity)
5. Seeks challenge (knows that tension stretches a person’s growth and imagination)
(Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times, pg. 29-30)

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