We often talk about bullying in schools and strategies to encourage decreased aggression for our children. But what about bullying in our everyday lives as adults in the church?
Thom Rainer came up with “Nine Traits of Church Bullies.” Did you ever think that they don’t recognize themselves as bullies? As I read through the article I thought of some interactions in the church setting that I could probably categorize as bullying and you can probably think of some situations also within your own church experience. A couple of the traits include intense/emotional personality and personal/self-serving agenda. Another author defines two key components of bullying: repeated hurtful actions and imbalance of power.
So if you have issues like this in your church, how do you encourage more appropriate social behavior? Thom also came up with “Nine Ways to Deal with Church Bullies." He suggests that we wrap our church staff in prayer; ensure that leadership is able to deal in a healthy manner with conflict and complaints; have clear structures and lines of accountability, and promote focus on our common goal of serving Jesus and others.
What strategies have you used in your church setting to encourage good social behavior?