Skip to content
Home » Traits – Leans into Conflict

Traits – Leans into Conflict

This week as I continue sharing traits of an effective leader, I focus on another difficult but important trait of a leader – handling and mitigating conflict.  I have heard it said that conflict is not necessarily good or bad but managed or mismanaged.  As a leader it is important to understand not only the issues that bring conflict into a church, but how to navigate through it so that substantive matters can be addressed in a way that brings suitable resolution and maintains healthy relationship among those involved. When conflict occurs, typical responses include fight or flight, attack or escape, assault or denial, which never resolve but only exacerbate the tension.  Leaders lean into the conflict, even when it is awkward or arduous.  As gospel centered servants we know Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemaker for they shall be called children of God.” Leaders point people to address disagreements in a way that brings glory to God.  They help people account for their attitude and actions so that they can overcome obstacles that prevent reconciliation. They remind people how God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). It is only when we discover the great cost and sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf leading to our forgiveness and reconciliation with God that we can find the strength, wisdom and courage to resolve the matters that may divide us.  Peacemaking is not easy, but we can be encouraged by the words of James, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (3:18).   – Dr. Gary Mathes