6 Ways to Avoid Conflict with Your Elder or Deacon Board in 2018

Conflict happens, even in the church. For pastors, one of the most discouraging parts of the job can be conflict with our co-laborers in the Lord. When disagreements and personality conflicts dominate meetings and relationships, it can derail the vision and mission of the church.

We’re here to help.

Below is the best advice from CT Pastors on leading your church well. Whether you’re heading off controversy before it happens, working to draw your team closer together, or figure out how to deescelate a conflict, we’ve got you covered.

Identify roadblocks to unity

Little confrontation and divisiveness within a board is rooted in the board members themselves. It tends to be rooted instead in a board's structure. By learning to recognize and remove structural roadblocks to unity, harmony will increase.

Initiate a performance review

Most pastors are committed to personal growth. Most spend hours reading, praying, and studying in an unending quest for spiritual and professional growth. Yet, curiously, many of us avoid perhaps the most vital ingredient for such growth--a candid, but official assessment of how we are doing as spiritual leaders. Despite the dangers, the hazards of avoiding a careful review are even greater.

Get better at running meetings

A thoughtfully conceived, well-run staff meeting will improve the effectiveness of ministry in virtually any church. Moreover, great staff meetings are not hard to achieve. A consistent agenda and some basic ground rules can make church leadership meetings worthwhile (and less contentious).

Share the decision making responsibility

What if there were an alternative set of practices that help your church make decisions—decisions once considered personal and private—together. One church asked, "As the body of Christ, what would it look like to serve one another during times of decision?" They came up with a voluntary process of corporate discernment for congregants who desire help making a decision.

Go straight to the hard conversations

Healthy organizations engage in honest conversations. Good pastors will need to be willing to encourage discussions about topics that can cause a culture to capsize if ignored too long.

Follow (and enforce) the 10 commandments of conflict

Over the years, Bill Hybels has learned to deal with conflict. As pastor of the influential and innovative Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, he and his team have discovered the following 10 nonnegotiable principles that guide the way they approach conflict.

Want to move your board from good to great?

These handouts help both pastors and church board members determine how to lead a church board, and what makes an effective church board member. The professionally designed 11 handouts overview many church board activities, like making good decisions, and give you steps to achieve them.