Previously Posted on Church Production Magazine
The church is not free from conflict. As someone who works in the church, and in a high-stress area like production, I see conflict all the time. As the hours get longer, the communication lines break down, and tempers can flare. In a moment, things can change and people begin feeling as though they are walking on eggshells around another person, waiting for them to “Vesuvius” all over.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19 (ESV)This is not healthy for any team, but especially for a team working inside the church. While there is a corporate side to church: HR, Accounting, and Administration. There is also an added human aspect that may not always be found in the “secular” world. I have found the team I work with to be more like family than co-workers, and families can have dysfunction at times. I don’t just clock out at five and forget these people. I am in a small group with a few of them, our wives are dear friends, and our kids play together. Conflicts will happen.The key to dealing with these problems is addressing them, and not with someone else not associated with it, but one on one. Jesus gives us instructions in Matthew 18:15-17 (ESV) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”For some reason, probably due to our sinful nature, it is so much easier to sit down and discuss the problem with someone other than who the problem is with. The idea of sitting down and telling someone how they wronged you can send some into a sheer panic attack. I know in my own, people pleasing, go with the flow, personality – I have had the thought that I’d rather quit my job than deal with a conflict that has come up. It puts my stomach in knots. But not addressing it is dangerous and downright poisonous.As the busy season of Christmas approaches, stress levels will go up as quick as all the artificial trees do. Remember that, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) Love your team this season and deal with conflict right then, before it has time to create division and lead to further conflicts.