Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Discussion on Matthew 18:15-18

Last month, many of you read my article on Matthew 18:15-18 and learned why I have called it the most misapplied passage on church conflict.  (If you have not read it or to re-read it, click here to link to that presentation).  This month, I invite you to add your perspective to this important conversation.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome to a New Discussion Board for 2010 !!

Welcome and greetings to one and all on the inauguration of this new 2010 forum pertaining to conflict and its resolution!

In the past, I have written weekly posts and bi-monthly articles for other organizations, and have taught online Masters classes in conflict resolution for a major university.  I think it is now about time that I started my own discussion board.

I hope you are willing to share
not only of experiences (good, bad, or ugly), but insights you have learned along the way that would be helpful to others.  Over time, we can make this discussion board the place to go for support and encouragement to receive real help with conflicted situations.   

To start us off, I will share an email I received.  I have long since responded.  But now I am interested in your thoughts.  What would you say if someone shared the following with you?  Let's talk about it.

Dear Ken,
I have been pastor of the same church for nearly half a dozen years. Since I have been here, conflict occurs on a cyclical basis. Every six to eighteen months a small group of people complain anonymously to our elders even to the point of trying to get people to vote me out. This same antagonistic behavior dates back to at least two of my predecessors. One man, for example, sent out a letter to the elders accusing me of everything that has gone wrong in the church, from declining attendance (it is slightly up) to our budget problems (income has increased each year I have been here). I am also being accused of the resignation of some elders (older men who were tired of the complaints and gossip in the church as well as the letters that stir up trouble). In essence I am being accused of anything and everything.
I thought my leaders would see the value in a conflict resolution consultation, but I'm sorry to say, they do not.  They are concerned that bringing someone like yourself would only exasperate the conflict whereas they just want to be done with it.  In essence, their solution is to put a band aid on the problems, but I can guarantee you that we will be right back facing the same situation in 6 months to a year. There are a number of members who are tired of this pattern and want it to stop.
How would you handle such a situation?

Dr. Ken Newberger