Managing Conflict in the Church (Paul Clark)

During the next few hours we are taking a journey together and we will be looking at a topic that many pastors and elders would prefer to avoid. Conflict management does not seem to be the most popular topic on the Christian conference circuit, and it appears to me that most Pentecostals and charismatics prefer to discover greater insight into receiving power from on high, as opposed to gaining a deeper understanding of how to better handle the gritty, earthly issues of interpersonal conflicts in the local church. Pentecostals and charismatics pride themselves on their unique spirituality because they are “spirit-filled”, yet they, no less than other Christians, are continually being bombarded by a multitude of church conflicts. One of my goals in this seminar is for us to not just think reactively, but proactively about conflict. When we look to the Lord we can be assured that He wants us to grow in our relationship to Him, and at the same time develop more effective skills in conflict resolution. There are many ways to define conflict, but I like the simple definition given by the renowned conflict mediator Bernhard Mayer.