Addressing the Underlying Causes of Conflict – Part 6

Two businessmen having a tug of war

A Biblical Response To Each Dimension (2 of 3)

  1. How To Establish Scriptural Guidelines for Healthy Interaction?
  • Your contract needs to stipulate that you will have enough authority to do your job. Having said that, go in listening and build as much relational authority as you can. Exercising positional authority should be the last resort.
  • Teach, train, and model biblical conflict resolution
  • Lovingly but directly confront gossip and triangulation
  • Move congregants to be willing to own their own issues instead of focusing on the issues of those they are in conflict with (see Matthew 7:5). Conducting a Sacred Assembly is often helpful in turning a corner into a new season of fruitful ministry.

The Role of the Sermon In Conflicted Congregations

In an interim context using old sermons is often not helpful because they may fail to address the root or core issues in a conflicted church. The aim of preaching is to be faithful to the text and prophetic to the context.

  • “And so the resident minor poet of a congregation has to be disciplined to take the time necessary not only to dig for the mystery of a God with us, but also to write the poetic sermon in such a way as to invite the congregation to slow down. There is a reason why churches don’t have drive-through windows. No one grabs the Incarnation on the run.”[1]
  • Expository sermon series’ for churches in conflict:
    • Beatitudes/Sermon on the Mount (helps people begin to own their own issues and refocuses on the KOG)
    • Nehemiah (good and clear change-agent taxonomy that begins with humility, confession, prayer, and planning)
    • 1 John (back to basics Christianity after a church split)
    • Philemon (reconciliation)
    • A series on the “one anothers” can also be quite helpful.

[1] Barnes: 134.

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