Summary: How To Resolve Conflicts Between People During Church Planting Main Biblical Text - Eph. 4:28-32

How To Resolve Conflicts Between

People During Church Planting

Main Biblical Text - Eph. 4:28-32


"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."

Benjamin Franklin.

Learning Objectives

1. The students will explain the reasons for conflicts between people who are trying to plant and grow churches.

2. The students will list five things that help them overcome conflicts.

3. The students will write a short paper describing how we should Biblically view conflicts in the ministry.

Definition - Conflict is a difference between people that can be resolved by those who are willing to treat one another with respect and to speak the truth in love. Eph. 4:15

Example - One man hoping to marry could not decide whom to marry. Promising both girls that he would marry them, he decided to try to get both of them impregnated to see which would produce a son for him. Unfortunately, the plan backfired on him. Both girls became pregnant so they packed their things into the man’s parents house waiting for the delivery of the babies!!

Soon, both girls found out that the boy had promised to marry both of them which made them angry at each other, mad at the boy, and equally hostile toward the parents for raising such a wicked son. The next morning, one of the girls’ goat got killed by a lorry passing by on the road. The girl flew into a rage over the parents’ apparent neglect whom she blamed for the loss of her goat. After speaking several disrespectful words to the parents, the girl packed her bags and left. The boy thought he had all his problems solved, until, the second girl left because of the boy’s refusal to give her anything to help with the costs of drugs for her pregnancy related illnesses. Now the boy was left without either girl, without harmonious relations with his family, and shamed by the whole tribe for his foolish ways!!

All of these problems could have been averted if the boy would have applied the Biblical principles of conflict resolution!!!!

I. Factors behind conflicts-

A. Conflict is a natural part of growth and is therefore inevitable with families, friends, and neighbors. Conflicts usually result from people’s different perceptions. We must allow one another the freedom to have different opinions and choices which can help people grow, change, and develop. (Gal. 5:13)

``As imperfect human beings we are always going to be subject to conflict, misunderstanding, and misinterpretations until as Christians we are ushered into heaven.’’

B. Values and needs (perceived, real, and felt needs) that are expressed are at the root of causes behind conflicts.

Example - One man said, ``I need a wife.’’ When he got a wife, he said, ``I need a son.’’ When he got a son he said, ``I need some money to raise my son.’’ When he got some money he said, ``I need another wife because my wife can no longer have any children and my son has become an armed robber.’’ What the man said he needed was his perception of his need. What he really needed was to do the will of God and say,

Lord if it is your will I would like a wife and a son, but I will seek first your kingdom and then trust that all things will be provided in the ways and the means in which you deem best.’’ (Matt. 6:33)

If Hezekiah would have prayed, ``Not my will but yours Lord.’’ God possibly would not have granted his request to live an extra 15 years and produce a very wicked son. We need to distinguish between needs and wants. (Psa. 23:1)

C. Conflicts are usually symptoms of something far deeper troubling an individual. We must seek to explore below the surface of a person’s outer actions to discern what is beneath their anger, frustration, or opposition. (Heb. 12:15)

D. Most conflicts are dealt with wrongly because people have not been taught how to deal effectively with them. Or people are unwilling to find the answers in God’s word. (Eph. 4:15)

II. How to View Conflicts

A. In conflicts we must learn when to confront someone with a problem and when to overlook another’s fault. (Prov. 27:5,6)

``Open rebuke is better than secret love, faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’’

B. In conflict management we must learn to respect others differences: personality, philosophy, background, male-female perceptions, cultures, levels of maturity, knowledge, spiritual knowledge and maturity, age, education, goals, and general perspectives. (Phil. 2:3,4, Gal 3:28)

C. Conflicts provide us with opportunities for growth. We should learn when and how to manage our conflicts and when and how to avoid them, as well as when and how to deal with them.

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