Having been in the church for as far as I can remember and serving the body of Christ for more than three decades in the capacity of an Ephesians 4: 11 ascension ministry gift, I’ve had more occasions than I care to remember to observe conﬂict and diﬀerence in local churches and especially among the leadership. Conﬂict is as old as the human family. The genesis of conﬂict is found in the Garden of Eden. Conﬂict was ﬁrst introduced in an Edenic state of existence. How much more has conﬂict become an issue after the fall of man in the garden? As long as the church consists of members of the human race there will always be conﬂict and difference among leaders and subordinates. This constant struggle of overcoming the clashing of views, opposition, antagonism, and being at variance with those who are organizationally related will undoubtedly remain one of the greatest challenges of local church leader- ship. If there can be conﬂict and diﬀerence in the local church, there will be!
Therefore, handling and resolving organizational conﬂict in the local church, without question, is of interest to every Christian leader with a heart for the church of God. It is much easier to identify areas of organizational conﬂict than it is to handle the consequences. The challenge of Christian leadership is resolving such diﬀerences in a biblical God-honoring way, and understanding the need to achieve a spiritual resolution. My expertise, as a mediator, is examining the nature of organizational conﬂict between the leader and his subordinates: associates, staﬀ, and workers. By oﬀering the parties biblical insights and solutions, and demonstrating the negative impact that unresolved conﬂicts have on organizational productivity, and the positive consequences of resolving conﬂicts, and how the resolution process contributes to the organization’s growth and strength.
Many leaders are frustrated because they constantly encounter resistance and disagreement rather than total embrace and agreement from their subordinates when attempting to implement their goals and objectives for their local churches. And, many subordinates, as well, are terribly afraid to show constructive disagreement that would be directed toward the leader and his or her vision. These kinds of conﬂicts born out of disagreement will weaken the local church’s organizational structure if left unresolved, but if they are resolved, they will facilitate the accomplishment of the church’s overall mission. The handling of such conﬂicts and differences in the local church necessitates a spiritual resolution, a biblical perspective, a revelation of the home and church, and an understanding of issues such as: the attitudes of leaders and subordinates, God’s goal in resolving conﬂict in His church, local church structure and government, the nature of organizational conﬂict, the dynamics of disagreement, and the relationship of communication to conﬂict.