Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
Every church conflict is unique in many ways. The mix of personalities, the history, and especially the specific facts and circumstances cover a huge range of possibilities. But they all have some things in common as well. As I “debrief” a church leadership team after having come through a difficult conflict, I am always intrigued by what they learn as a result of that conflict. Intrigued, but rarely surprised anymore. Because, generally speaking, I hear variations on the same lessons over and over again. “What regrets do you have?” I will ask them. In the instances where we actually came through with success, I almost always hear the same regrets.
Church Leaders’ 3 Most Common Regrets from their Conflict:
1. “I wish we had built stronger relationships.”
No surprise here, right? There is a lot of talk these days about the fact that the church is not a building, it is people. I agree with that, but I disagree with saying it quite like that. The church is not just people…it is people living in relationships with each other. The key is the relationships. It’s one thing to get a bunch of people attending a weekly “show” on Sunday mornings. But if they are not in relationships with each other, they are no more a church than the theater full of people all attending the same movie. What makes it a church is the relationships between the people. And what destroys the church is when the relationships fall apart. Relationships, then, are the very “fabric” of the church.
When church leaders look back at a season of severe conflict, they almost always realize that much of the attention, emphasis, energy and …