Archives For Conflict

To a wide-eyed Midwesterner like me, the current spate of ethnic or religiously motivated conflicts in the world is stupefying. Here in the middle of this vast country, we are surrounded by people who look and think pretty much as we do. There are minority populations of course, but we’ve managed to melt into one big pot of suburban blandness.

Palestinian Rally.

Seeing people forced from their homes under threat of death because of their faith, others murdered over perceived blasphemies, and civil wars fought over what language to speak is both puzzling and terrifying.

I realize those descriptions reduce conflicts of Byzantine complexity to mere tweets. But that’s how they appear to an outsider: surreal.

After hundreds, even thousands, of years of conflict, we have to wonder: Is there any way out of these conflicts?

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Here is an excerpt from my guest post appearing today on Michael Hyatt‘s blog, Intentional LeadershipAlso check out this related post: Setting Boundaries on Ministry Time

Conflict is an almost daily event in corporate or congregational life. Wherever two or three are gathered, one is likely to disagree! The two classic ways of handling conflict are management and resolution.

Conflict management assumes that conflict is a constant feature of group life. The idea is to keep it within boundaries, not to eliminate it.

Conflict resolution sees conflict as an interruption of normal life. The idea is to find a solution, usually a compromise, as quickly as possible.

chess-game-over-conflict-board-pieces-black-white

In most cases, however, neither approach adequately deals with the issue.

I learned that the hard way several years ago when dealing with a conflict between several employees in our church’s preschool and the school’s director. As pastor, I was called in to find a solution.

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