10 Quotes on Church Conflict

Church conflict happens in most congregations—and for that reason, many authors have written on this topic. Here are some quotes that have been helpful to me in dealing with conflict: 

  1. “Christ is the reason many enter the pastorate. Conflict is the reason many leave.”[i]
  2. “In many difficult situations, the most visible problems or presenting issues are not the real causes at the heart of the conflict.”[ii]
  3. “As you consider the details of your church conflict, it may feel as if things are out of control, but they are not. They are not in your control, but they are in God’s control.”[iii]
  4. “Leadership is not the cause of all conflict. In our experience, conflict comes more from the pews than the pulpit.”[iv]
  5. “Behind every badly burned pastor will be found a long, slow burn that took place before they became engulfed in the final flame.”[v]
  6. “Paul also warns that those who cause division should be warned twice and then excluded (Titus 3:10). Divisiveness is taken very seriously, indeed.”[vii]
  7. “Growing churches handle conflict directly, biblically, humbly, and healthily.”[viii]
  8. “There’s a problem with most of our confessions. We naturally make weak and evasive apologies. Our sinful self-righteousness compels us to play down our faults, minimize our guilt, and make excuses for our wrongs.”[vi]
  9. “If you’re arguing via email, stop. Pick up the phone and call your colleague, or schedule a time to do a video call.”[ix]
  10. “. . . even if the people in the church are getting along and having no fights or scandals, a church in neutral is making minimal contributions to Christ’s mission on earth. . . . Don’t mistake the absence of conflict for the presence of God.”[x]

[i] Alfred Poirier, The Peacemaking Pastor (p. 9). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[ii]Michael Hare, When Church Conflict Happens (p. 42). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition

[iii] Tara Klena Barthel, David V. Edling, Redeeming Church Conflicts: Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care. Hendrickson Pub. Kindle Edition.

[iv] Jim Van Yperen, Making Peace (pp. 24-26). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

[v]Ron Susek, Firestorm (p. 197). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[vi] Ken Sande, and Kevin Johnson, Resolving Everyday Conflict (pp. 62-63). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[vii] Jonathan Leeman, Church Discipline (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches) (p. 111). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

[viii] Carey Nieuwhof, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow. The reThink Group, Inc., Kindle Edition.

[ix] Amy Gallo, HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict (HBR Guide Series) (p. 111).  Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.

[x] Karl Vaters, 100 Days to a Healthier Church (p. 18). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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