that conflict is a normal part of our life in the church. (Rom. 14:1-8,
||Affirm that as God
walks with us in conflict we can work through to growth. (Eph. 4:15-16) |
||Admit our needs and
commit ourselves to pray for a mutually satisfactory solution (no prayers
for my success or for the other to change but to find a joint way). (James
||Go directly to those
with whom we disagree; avoid behind-the-back criticism.* (Matt. 5:23-24;
spirit of humility...
||Go in gentleness,
patience and humility. Place the problem-between-us at neither doorstep.
And own our part in the conflict instead of pointing out the others'.
(Gal. 6:1-5) |
quick to listen,
summarize and check out what is heard before responding. Seek as much to
understand as to be understood. (James 1:19;
slow to judge,
avoid labeling, end name calling, discard threats, and act in a
non-defensive, nonreactive way. (Rom 2:1-4;
willing to negotiate
||Work through the
disagreements constructively. (Acts 15;
- Identify issues, interests, and needs of both (rather than take
- Generate a variety of options for meeting both parties' needs
(rather than defending one's own way).
- Evaluate options by how they meet the needs and satisfy the
interests of all sides (not one side's values).
- Collaborate in working out a joint solution (so both sides gain,
both grow and win).
- Cooperate with the emerging agreement (accept the possible, not
demand your ideal).
- Reward each other for each step forward, toward agreement (celebrate
steadfast in love,
||Be firm in our
commitment to seek a mutual solution; be stubborn in holding to our common
foundation in Christ; be steadfast in love. (Col.
open to mediation,
||Be open to accept
skilled help. If we cannot reach agreement among ourselves, we will use
those with gifts and training in mediation in the larger church. (Phil. 4:1-3) |
||We will trust the
community and if we cannot reach agreement or experience reconciliation,
we will turn the decision over to others in the congregation or from the
broader church. (Acts 15)
- In one-to-one or small group disputes, this may mean allowing others
- In congregational, conference, district or denominational disputes,
this may mean allowing others to arbitrate or implementing
constitutional decision-making processes, insuring that they are done in
the spirit of these guidelines, and abiding by whatever decision is
Body of Christ.
||Believe in and rely
on the solidarity of the Body of Christ and its commitment to peace and
justice, rather than resort to the courts of law. (1
Cor. 6:1-6) |