November 28, 2018

Five Resources for Managing Conflict

This month we offer five resources to help your congregation manage conflict. Please share this digest with new members of your vestry and extend an invitation to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices to receive Vestry Papers and the monthly digest.

1. In this webinar, First Steps in Understanding Church Conflict, Christy Shain-Hendricks reminds us that conflict is relational and natural. Watch and learn about a few elements that contribute to conflict and how it’s possible to make our way toward reconciliation and peace-building.

2. When you see something, do you say something? In The Courage to Speak, Bonnie Anderson shares how necessary speaking up can be to address negative situations. Finding the courage to speak your truth when conflict is present may very well be the thing that transforms it.

3. If you’re like most people, you don’t love conflict. Richard Simpson, in Overcoming Being Conflict Averse, encourages us to see beyond conflict and look for how God is in its midst. Conflict isn’t necessarily a problem, how we manage it matters. What “good news stories” might you be reminded of and how can you share them?

4. Leadership and finances are two of the leading causes of decline in churches. In Treat the Disease, Not the Symptom, Jerry Keucher teaches us how to address some of the problems that lead to decline. Though conflict is a large part of it, there are specific, strategic actions churches can take to turn the culture around.

5. Though conflict isn’t entirely unavoidable among teams, agreeing to norms and establishing a team covenant can help you through conflict when it arises. In Norms & Covenants: Tools to Strengthen Your Team, Nancy Davidge discusses the importance of creating a procedural and behavioral framework for any kind of team.