Benefits of Conflict

view more in this topic...

 A common misconception regarding conflict is that conflict is always a bad thing and should be avoided at all costs.  Actually nothing could be further from the truth.

One definition of conflict is that it is a difference of opinion or purpose that frustrates one’s goals or desires.  That pretty much describes most meetings that I have been a part of during 20 years of ministry! 

Yet, out of those interactions, where sometimes we encountered strong differences in opinions, often came new insights to the situation.  There were things that each of us learned.  And the result was that the action taken, whether related to the design of a worship experience or the handling of an administrative matter, was stronger, clearer, and more effective.

Conflict also offers the opportunity to deepen our relationships.  The reality is that most of us tend to live out our relationships, especially in congregational circles, at the surface level.  People don’t really get to know the longings of our hearts, our deeply held convictions, or our dreams until they come into conflict with theirs.  Those differences give us the opportunity to explore the things that make us tick and to deepen our appreciation for others and the ways God has wired them and used them in the Kingdom work.

Finally, conflict gives us the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of cultures, traditions, races, and ages of those connected in the body of Christ.  As those differences bubble to the surface, whether in worship or other dimensions of ministry, we have the opportunity to celebrate them and look for meaningful ways of acknowledging the value they bring to the community of faith.

The issue is not the presence of conflict but how we respond to that presence!

Phil Maynard
The Office of Congregational Transformation

Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011