Saturday, September 09, 2006

Top Ten Ways to Resolve Conflict



(I put the above pic because I thought it amusing)

So you thought of quitting youth ministry? Get into a conflict with your Senior pastor, elder board, parents, sponsors, students?

If you been in youth ministry for any time at all you know conflict will come. It is how we view conflict and get it resolved that make us stronger leaders. (Besides using the Matthew 18 principles - go to the person firstm then witnesses, then involve leaders etc) Here are some suggestions to dealing with conflict:

1. Pray. Pray for wisdom, discernment and direction. Seek God first.

2. Rant. Journal. Talk to God and/or someone about the issue to just get it off your chest.

3. Seek wisdom. Get some insight from godly people you trust. This maybe your mentor, accountability partner, peers, online community.

4. Outline. Go over the pros and cons of the conflict, and a history that lead to it. Documentation helps.

5. Have a plan. Resolution isn't easy. So have a plan to address the issues.

6. Address, Once you follow through on your plan of action (Usually this involves sitting down with the parties involved in the conflict and maybe having a mediator). Address your outline, revise, get both sides of the issue. Address the conflict, don't attack the person (If if the person is a jerk, sometimes it is best to not let that be known) but the issues.

7. Resolution Plan. Come up with a plan together (or if the other person is unwilling still do this for your own conscience) for actions to help the healing process.

8. Forgiveness. Forgive the person and perhaps yourself for any wrong doing in this. (We could be wrong and admit to your own mistakes)

9. Look at yourself. Was there anything I can learn from this? Am I at fault? What would help me do better in the future? Seek counselling if necessary. Take a break., sabbath, time to heal might help.

10. Be a peacemaker. Learn to moderate, be a mediator, extend grace and be a life long learner in this messy world of conflict resolution.

Youth Ministry isn't easy. Conflicts will come. It is how you handle conflict that either makes or breaks your ministry and helps your leadership skills. Hang in there. Looking forward to hearing how you handled your most recent conflict.

Resources:

**Healing Life's Hurts through Theophostic Prayer - Edward M. Smith

Healthy Churches - Peter Steinke

Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict - Jim Van Yperin.

Managing Church Conflict - Hugh Halverstadt

**The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving personal Conflict - Ken Sande.

*Pastors in Pain - Gary Preston

*The Wounded Minister - Guy Greenfield

** - I currently read and helped me through some of my pain.

* currently reading or on my to read shelf.

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