"Anatomy Of A Conflict"
June 13, 2012
In an earlier post, I mentioned Mike Minter's Stay the Course one-day seminar for pastors. From that seminar, here is Mike's "anatomy of conflict":
- An offense occurs.
- A biased view of the offense is shared with friends.
- Friends take up the offense.
- Sides begin to form.
- Suspicion on both sides develop.
- Each side looks for evidence to confirm their suspicion. You can be sure they will find it.
- Exaggerated statements are made.
- In the heat of conflict those involved hear things that were never said and say things they wish they had never said.
- Third parties, no matter how well intentioned, can never accurately transfer information from one offended party to the other.
- Past offenses unrelated to the original offense surface.
- Integrity is challenged.
- People call each other liars.
- Those who try to solve the problem (e.g., church leadership) are blamed for not following the proper procedure and become the new focus.
- Many are hurt.
- First, that is pretty much spot-on with what I've observed in a number of churches. I wish it weren't so, but it's the truth.
- Second, it seems that once you get to step #5, it's pretty hard to pull out of the nose-dive.
- Third, conflict in the church makes me long for Jesus to come back soon.