There is a whole range of possible reasons for personal/relational conflict to arise between Pastors and other leaders in the church. Conflict is inevitable and in many cases is actually a good thing when managed in healthy ways. The disturbing thing to me about my recent conversations is not that these Pastors are dealing with conflict. It is, rather, that they have been caught completely by surprise! In most of these cases, the Pastor has been oblivious to the fact that there has been dissatisfaction, unrest or even dissention brewing under the surface for a long time. The presenting conflict is just the tip of the much larger/deeper ‘iceberg’.
One of the things we want to do in the Master’s Group context is help Pastors to be proactive about their key leader relationships. It’s imperative for good leaders to cultivate a strong discipline around knowing who their key leaders really are, understanding what makes them tick and intentionally developing those leaders. Lack of attention to this leadership development almost always ends up in a bad place. Lack of attention to this leadership development often results in unhappy surprises!
How well do you know the leaders you’re working with? Do you know their strengths, values, personality styles, histories, commitments and passions? In what ways do they need to be challenged to grow? Are they consistent in their spiritual disciplines? How do they need to be served, encouraged and cared for? What confrontation or truth-telling is needed now to avoid future worsening of what is currently a minor irritation?
Investing time and energy to proactively deepen relationship with and develop your key leaders will certainly pay off in terms of the effectiveness of your church’s ministry. It might also avoid future ‘nasty’ surprises with even nastier consequences!
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