What do you do when people get "sideways" with each other?
An important but often ignored aspect of Valuing Relationships is how we handle relational discord. What happens when people get sideways with each other? How do we react when conflict occurs?
First, don’t be surprised when (not “if”) it occurs. We live in a fallen world. And we are sinful human beings. The fact that we go to Church with other Christians doesn’t mean the Church is a conflict free zone. It simply means that as Christians we should handle conflict in a way that accords with Christ’s teaching and exhibits His truth and grace.
So, what does Christ teach about handling conflict? In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus set forth a simple three step process for handling conflict:
- Go to the other person “in private” and try to resolve the conflict.
- If Step 1 is unsuccessful, involve an objective third party to try to resolve the conflict.
- If Step 1 and 2 are unsuccessful, take the issue to the Church (at GNG we interpret this to mean “take it up to the next leadership level”). See the diagrams in your PREP 1 book.
Why would Jesus prescribe this process? TO KEEP THE PROBLEM SMALL! Most discord could be easily resolved if Christ’s followers simply obeyed STEP 1. Instead we take the problem to others who weren’t involved and have no need to know. The problem spreads through the Church. People form opinions and pick sides because they’ve received only one side of the story. And, thus, the Church is divided.
Division is devastating to the Church Family and its witness to the world. In order to Value Relationships, we must follow Matthew 18:15-17.
The Only Thing Limiting GNG’s Future Is The Number Of Leaders We Can Develop.