Thursday, 17 May 2012


A number of weeks ago we discussed conflict in our Tuesday theology discussion group.  Douglas suggested that there are four stages to conflict.  The first stage is pre-conflict.
1. Pre-conflict.  The idea here is to inoculate the church against conflict.  A part of this will involve regular teaching on themes such as forgiveness and unity.  Douglas highlighted that insecurities in the pastor can be a trigger for conflict.  There is a need to be slow to take offence.  There is a need to foster a positive attitudes rather than negative attitudes.  If someone is obsessed with trivia it may reveal a problem with their heart.  Create a culture of authentic affirmation. 
Douglas points a study that about 85% of the people in churches are steady types (S on a DISC test, can be referred to as 'golden-retriever' types).  Steady types are very loyal.  But that means they don't like change.  We have to figure out how to convince them of the need to change. 
A while back I gave some quotes from Keller on marriage.
'One of the most basic skills in marriage is the ability to tell the straight, unvarnished truth about what your spouse has done - and then, completely, unself-righteously, and joyously express forgiveness without a shred of superiority, without making the person feel small. This does not mean you cannot express anger. In fact, if you never express anger, your truth-telling probably won't sink in. But forgiving grace must always be present, and if it is, it will, like salt in meat, keep your anger from going bad ...' 
We need to foster such maturity and openness in our congregations.
Questions I asked others in the group:
Do people find that those people who are most sensitive to being offended tend also to be those who are insensitive and offend others?  Yes.

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