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The Best Defense for Conflict is a Good Offense

Church leaders who focus first on building a healthy church stand a better chance of weathering warranted--and unwarranted--battles.

After looking at the diverse dragons that can threaten a church, what are the best defenses?

Landscapers know the best way to prevent weeds is not to attack them individually. Uprooting stubborn dandelions or chickweed one by one will improve appearances temporarily, but within days, the troublesome plants will be back. The best way to handle weeds is a thick, healthy lawn, which keeps them from springing up in the first place.

Likewise pastors, who are charged to "see to it ? that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Heb. 12:15), find that the best way to prevent dragon blight, or at least minimize its damage, is to concentrate on developing a healthy church.

Taking opportunities to build a close, cohesive church will produce better results than the shrewdest political maneuvers after problems sprout. Defusing potential problems before they arise is far better than troubleshooting later on.

What are the keys to dragon-proofing a church? Obviously no technique is 100-percent ...

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