Managing Conflict Jesus Style

Recently I’ve experienced some conflict situations. As the leader in these particular instances I was reminded of how Jesus taught to manage conflict in Matthew 18. It will help us all to remember this lesson in the heat of our offended moments.

Conflicts will arise in any organization because humans are all wired differently and we will inevitably disagree. Jesus makes it clear that addressing conflict should be a priority for us.

John Maxwell (one of my heroes not far down the list from Jesus) outlines the basic steps to be followed when there is a conflict as follows:
1. Initiate the contact.
2. Confront the person in private.
3. If no resolution comes, meet again with one or two more people.
4. Confirm the facts in the meeting and work toward a solution.
5. If no resolution comes, bring the issue before the church or organization.
6. Agree upon the truth and the appropriate options for the offender.
7. If no resolution comes, release the offender from the church or organization.

We have to keep in mind that we must act wisely because God gives us authority in these situations, because he will confirm decisions made in harmony, and because he is present when we gather in his name.

This is a lesson I’ve certainly learned the hard way a few times and I haven’t handled every situation the best way possible – from either side of conflict. But I intend to think about this lesson more and more so that I will be better at managing conflict in the future.

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