Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Conflict as a Means of Grace

Say what now? I thought conflict was something to be avoided at all costs!

Yesterday I attended a District Clergy meeting that included a presentation on the 'gifts' of conflict. One of our Conference Consultants gave a very thoughtful presentation encouraging us not to run from conflicts in our churches, but to use them as ways to bring about change, healing and growth. It sounds good, right. But how do you do it?

It was timely for me since our beloved Contemporary Service has been experiencing some conflict. During our times of re-visioning and listening we have learned that we do not all agree. There have been times of conflict, lots of love, a fair amount of anxiety and plenty of grace to go around. One thing I have found to be helpful is to name the conflict so it is at least out in the open.

If nothing else, this District Clergy day was a day apart for me. A day away from the conflict. A day to learn and to enjoy my clergy colleagues. Coming back into the 'fray' I have determined not to be overwhelmed by the conflict, but to see it as an opportunity.... for what, I'm not quite sure. But we shall see!

1 comment:

feminist_mom said...

krista, yes conflict can be messy but it gets the pain out in the daylight or the brokenness or whatever it is and naming it like you said is very important. We came through five very messy painful years of clergy sexual misconduct truth telling in a church by telling the truth about the pastor that had left.... which was not easy andy very complicated but it was the only way for healing to come after then seven years of denial,triangling, pain and guilt, secrets etc. sending =love for the journey= and confict is natural in any relationship i think to some degree for it to be healthy, enjoying your blogs, maureen from NE