Interpersonal Conflict in Ministry Contexts

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When people interact, there will always be conflict. In a small group setting, it is crucial to know how to manage conflict in a way that is biblical and honors each of the people in the group.


I. Conflict

A. Definition of Interpersonal Conflict

B. Five Mistaken Ideas About Conflict

C. Three Different Types of Conflict

D. The Unique Nature of Conflict in Ministry Groups

E. Common Sources of Conflict in Ministry Groups

F. Interpersonal Power in Conflict

G. Misconceptions About Power

II. Some conflict management kills

1. Follow biblical mandates (Matt 18:15-17; 5:23-24; 1 Cor 6:1-8)

2. Seek consensus on the basics first - begin with agreement (affirm hope)

3. Watch your attitude toward self, others and conflict

4. Educate groups and model healthy conflict management

5. Intervene early

6. Establish supportive vs. defensive arguments

7. Distinguish triggers from the causes of conflict

8. Defuse yourself, the other and the situation

9. Don't let the sun go down on your anger (Eph 4:26)

10. Agree to disagree

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