Conflict: Inevitable, So Learn to Understand and Lead Through It


On the Church Administration Network colleague Sheri Laninga has posted a blog with this fine article from the Alban Institute about understanding and managing conflict in churches. Thanks, Sheri! Is conflict bad? Good? Wrong questions. Conflict will happen. The right question that this article develops is how to manage conflict constructively, help keep it to acceptable levels for possibly good things to happen in your congregation.

After you read that article and chew on it a bit, let me suggest that you go to this remarkably closely-related YouTube video  about understanding leadership and being a "differentiated leader" and what happens when less differentiated leaders or members of virtually any organization  (family, company, church--you name it) aren't careful about communication styles or content.

Have you experienced any of the scenarios mentioned in either of those two sources? How have you dealt with them? 

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I'm speechless!


Ken--This is the first time I recall you being rendered speechless since you've joined the Network. You've put up lots of varied comments in lots of places on lots of topics. And now this silences you????? Could you try to find some words and tell us what caused this? I'm sure there must be a good reason and I'd love to know!  Meanwhile, Blessings and have a good search for words.  jcd

Jim, I hope you are not trying to tell me that Jesus was a differentiated leader? We all need boundaries but these idea's come from a very secular Bowen movement of naturalistic life stye or approach. The Apostles in Acts did not differentiate the problem with the hellnistic belivers but delegated the the issue"s solution to the group of believers.

Jim, I'm chronically ill. I am a virus under this approach according to the video. That is why I was speechless.

God bless you my friend,


Community Builder

Ken, YOU a virus?   I don't think so.  

I'm inclined to see this Bowen stuff as potentially helpful tools that can be used by Christians trying to understand the dynamics of congregations and their pastors.  Jesus had a very clear picture of his father's will, and no kind of pressure could make him turn aside.   He was his own man, or better to say he was God's own man.  He's like the perfect picture of someone who was perfectly compassionate, and also had good boundaries, and also perfectly obedient.    So the needs of those around him did NOT force him outside of his father's will.  I"m thinking of Mark 1:38, and also of his delayed response to Mary and Martha, and also of his self-composure in front of Herod and Pilate.   

I found The Leader's Journey by Herrington, Creech, and Taylor to be a very helpful treatment of the concept of differentiation in a distinctly biblical context.   (Jossey Bass, 2003)

I'm with you Ken, when people try to turn Jesus into a manager or a CEO or a therapist.   I say Yuck.   On the other hand, I want to hold on to Jesus' perfect life as the perfect illustration for how to live my day to day walking-around life.  He's my Savior and he's also my Sanctifier.

Jim, Thanks for the response. People do not force your thoughts or your will. the way we react is still our a choice. Jesus was perfect at this because He was there to show the standard which we will never achieve without Grace. He seemed indifferient to Mary and Martha because He loved them enough to teach them what faith looked like.

As far as naturalisic idea's are concerned, a lot have great merit and are Biblical just in different verbage. I too find wisdom in a variety belief system's. The main problem with the vidio is the goal and attitude of  of the author towards people. He is very narrsistic.

Thanks Jim, I hope I make sense because I am a lousy vessel for this interaction

I'm also to tired to correct my error's.