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Predicting Church Conflict
There are predictable moments in a church’s life when conflict is more likely to surface. Here are the top 10 predictable times for conflict as identified by church conflict guru, Speed Leas.
1. The Easter Season—Typically one of the busiest seasons in the life of the church, expectations are high and conflict can arise over music, preaching, childcare, or even doctrinal issues.
2. Stewardship Campaigns or Budget Preparation—Issues can surface not only between staff members and the church board during this time, but volunteers and church members often end up in conflict when it comes to money matters.
3. Adding Staff—The addition of a new personality, work ethic, and vision can rattle the cage of the status quo.
4. Changes in Leadership Style—Pastors and leaders go through different seasons in their approach to leadership techniques and styles. If the change is drastic or uncomfortable for some, it can lead to conflict.
5. Absences—When key leaders are away from the office such as on sabbatical or vacation, tensions can rise as well as conflict among those left in charge during a leader’s absence.
6. A Change in the Pastor’s Family—Whether it’s a new baby or a teenager in crisis, family changes can pull a pastor’s time away from the flock, which can result in feelings ranging from tension to disappointment.
7. Significant Generational Changes—When a sudden influx of young families emerges in an older congregation, it can unsettle the church. Or when a young pastor suddenly has to manage an older team, it can create stress all around.
8. Completion of a New Building—Your congregation put a lot of time and money into a beautiful new facility…and not everything’s perfect—conflict brews even in celebration.
9. Rapid Membership Changes—Whether attendance quickly grows or wanes, conflict can grow under the pressure and effects of number changes.
10. Between Pastors—When there’s a change in leadership, there can be tension among others outside of leadership as they jockey for power or influence.
Source: “Top 10 Predictable Times for Conflict in the Church” by Craig Webb (lifeway.com)