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Managing a Spiritualist Center

How to Manage a Church Conflict
By:Felicia Gillie-Jackson

Although the Bible encourages believers to live in harmony, churches often encounter conflict among their members. Conflict usually results from an unwillingness to agree when there's a difference in opinion. When having sharp disagreements, Matthew 5:25 recommends you to quickly reconcile with your opponent. Failure to reconcile and resolve conflict could result in negative and unpleasant consequences. For churches, unresolved conflict could result in decreased in membership and division within the church body.

The leadership team outlines the framework for successful conflict resolution
Build strong, cohesive relationships within the church body by appointing a leadership team. Church leaders develop and reinforce steps necessary to resolve conflict in a peaceful and productive manner.The leadership team manages conflict by distinguishing between proper and improper conduct. This team leads by example and sets standards for church members to follow and adhere to when encountering sharp disagreements or differences in opinion.

Written action plans inspire members and produce a sense of duty.
Document your church's belief and vision statement. A belief statement expresses your church's doctrine and is what motivates you to do what you do. A belief statement helps members to understand the church's purpose and sets the tone as to how members will interact with each other, as well as how they will represent the church in the community. The vision statement moves the church forward. It points members in the same direction and progressively advances the church toward future plans. The belief and vision statements manage conflict by creating shared goals and by empowering members to work together.

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities creates a system of checks and balances.
Determine the required skills needed to execute the day-to-day operations in the church and create appropriate roles. Once roles exist, assign responsibilities. Assigning responsibilities dictates how roles will function and clearly defines the performance expectation. Creating roles and assigning responsibility manages conflict by making members accountable to each other.

Effective communication helps members to have an active role and minimizes conflict within the church.
Create opportunities for effective communication. Brainstorm tools to keep your membership informed and simultaneously for your membership to keep the leadership informed. Some good communication tools for churches include a church program, newsletter, bulletin board, website and prayer-request pew cards. Effective communication reinforces a culture of shared ownership and provides opportunities for members to be heard and stay informed. Effective communication amplifies the presence of your church in your neighborhood, community and in the lives of your members.