Embracing Conflict

Q:  Ever since our congregation was divided over a conflict some years ago, I have this sense that we now avoid conflict at all costs. I’m sure that this impacts our own vitality as a congregation, but I’m not sure how…

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Is Conflict a Good Thing?

“Conflict is not bad” has been a consistent teaching of Alban and many others in the conflict field for years. It’s a natural, inevitable consequence of having more than one idea in the room at the same time. The goal…

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Enduring All Things, Even Each Other

Not long ago I was invited to preach at a denominational conference whose purpose was to encourage “civil discourse” in the church. The brochure for the event described its aims: While our times call for passion and conviction, they also…

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Changing Emotional Systems

by Peter L. Steinke I doubt Sir Isaac Newton ever expected his theories to be used to explain human behavior, but in my experience working with more than a hundred conflicted congregations, two Newtonian principles do indeed seem to apply. When…

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