Christopher Wesley

I see the people I work with as more than just coworkers. After being at my current place of employment they feel more like family and friends. Just like family and friends there are times when we laugh together, and other times where you could cut the tension with a knife. Conflict is inevitable, especially if you work in a church. You are dealing with relationships and saving lives, and it will get personal.

I’ve found that in these times of conflict I can take two approaches:

Run And Hide, hoping it will all go away. I find that never works; yet I still try it.

Lean In, and face the situation before it escalates into anything regrettable or destructive.

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Josh and Kurt offer some great practical steps when dealing with conflict. It’s important for us to take the high road, lift up the other person, and seek God’s healing. On top of those suggestions I would add:

Keep Communicating
The last thing you want to do is talk with someone you feel tension toward (unless it’s to chew them out). But if you don’t get the communication rolling it’ll make the situation worse. When there is a break in communication two things can fill the gap: TRUST or SUSPICION. To ensure it’s trust lean in, work with them, and keep the communication flowing.

Put On Their Shoes
Many times we grow frustrated with someone because we are either focused on our own issues or don’t understand theirs. If you sense conflict or feel tension, take the time to ask, “What are they currently seeing and feeling?” Answering that question might be the key to your conflict. When you get to know someone you are willing to give him or her a little grace for their situation.

Seek Accountability
Josh and Kurt pointed out the importance of humility. Sometimes you need a trusted source to point out when you are in the wrong. By having a different perspective on the situation you give yourself the resources you need to face the tension and resolve the situation.

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The relationships with those you work with are important, and if you aren’t working together it will hinder the movement of your local church. Lean in, keep the communication, and love on those you work with. They are in the trenches and fighting the same fight.

How have you successfully resolved conflict with a coworker? 

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