Many people choose to avoid conflict rather than addressing the underlying issue as they hope it’ll go away with time. But time only causes some wounds to grow deeper, resulting in severe damages. The COVID-19 crisis, combined with heightened political and racial tensions, is triggering unprecedented conflict worldwide, including safe havens such as churches.
When conflicts occur in churches, they can threaten the congregation’s peace and unity. Pastors need to focus their time and energies on handling frustrated parishioners or deflecting conflicts to rebuild unity within the congregations and leadership teams. Experts believe that the only way to heal conflicts is to acknowledge them and address them promptly. Here are some time-tested ways to resolve conflicts among various parties at church.
#1 Try Weaving Relational Wisdom into The Church
When dealing with conflict, most people tend to focus obsessively on their own righteousness while sternly believing in the wrongs of the other person. It keeps happening back and forth, making the conflict turn into something even worse. In such situations, the gospel-driven form of (EI) emotional intelligence or relational wisdom probes people to view their relationships three-dimensionally. It encourages them to be self-aware, God-aware, and other-aware in every relational interaction they’re part of so that a person’s heart is in the right place to help others more effectively.
#2 Always Ensure Your Communication Is Clear So That There’s No Room for Misunderstandings
Many conflicts within ministries are inflamed or triggered by poor communication, often by the clergy or leadership. Sometimes, a person has good intentions, but not taking the time to carefully evaluate and adjust what’s being said can lead to misunderstandings. A leader needs to communicate clearly, so they’re not misunderstood. While no one can get this perfect all the time, spending a little extra time on remarks, sermons, or emails you plan to add in a congregational meeting or conversation can save you several hours of unnecessary conflicts or losses from lawsuits.
#3 Try to Work Patiently with People Trying to Process Their Experiences and Associated Emotions
People often interpret another person’s actions and words through their own emotions and life experiences. Consequently, even a seemingly innocent statement in a conversation or a sermon can trigger intense emotional and physical reactions in others. Most people naturally resort to defending themselves in such situations while pointing out how unwarranted their response was. It further adds fuel to the fire, causing the conflict to escalate. With a little patience, it’s possible to turn such interactions into life-changing opportunities for your ministry. Take time to help people patiently and gently process their life experiences and emotions so that their inner turmoil and conflict resolves.
Planning Ahead: Protect Your Church with Reliable Church Insurance
Churches should proactively plan and prepare for unexpected and unfortunate but probable events after being aware of the potential risks associated with conflicts. Depending on several factors, such as the size, location, and more, a reliable church insurance agent can devise a tailored yet comprehensive church insurance plan to suit the needs of your church.
From workers’ compensation insurance to church property insurance, house of worship insurance, commercial auto insurance, church liability insurance, and more, you can rely on Integrity Now Insurance Brokers for a host of church insurance services at industry-competitive rates.
Reach out to us through call or email to discuss your coverage plan to streamline protection for your employees, volunteers, members, property, and more. We offer services in several states, including Texas, California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Ohio.