Speaker: Steve Childers

peacemaker.gif"If you are a church planter, by its nature you are a conflict manager," said Childers.  There is a relationship between the church size and conflict.  The smaller your church, the greater the arena and likelihood an antagonist will be present.  (The people set on absorbing the time and the attention of the church planter.)   As your church grows, it brings change.  People do not like change, so you will also experience conflict.

90% of all people that fail in their life vocation do so because they can't get along with the people.  (source: Carnegie Tech Institute)

Christian conflict of opinions is typically much worse than the secular world.  Christians believe their opinions stem from the Creator God of the Universe.  If you and the God of the Universe are taking sides on an opinion, you will take a firm stance.

Childers gleans s from Francis Schaeffer's The Great Evangelical Disaster and said, "If church discipline is not done Biblically, there will be a loss of purity in the church (of both doctrine/life), if there is a loss of purity, there is a loss of power to change lives and culture". Churches need to expect, prepare for and lovingly deal with conflict.  Thankfully, God condescends to us to teach us very practical steps to resolve conflict.   If you want more, Childers strongly endorses, The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict.

Read David Fairchild's (thorough) post on Conflict Management