Preparation for church conflict

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Curtis J. Birky

Abstract

Imagine a continuum illustrating church conflict, with “Healthy Conflict Resolution” written on one end and “Elimination of Conflict” on the other. Which end of the continuum would you like to place your congregation on? The possibility of a conflict-free congregation is alluring for good reasons. Church conflicts have produced a lot of damage—church splits, broken relationships, tainted witness, misunderstandings, consumption of energy and resources that might have been better used elsewhere. You could probably extend the list without too much effort.

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Keywords
Church controversies; Conflict management -- Religious aspects -- Christianity; Interpersonal relations; Social psychology; Pastoral psychology
Section
Articles