Thriving Through Ministry Conflict
- Publisher There's no need to fear the conflicts that inevitably arise in every church. Pastors and church leaders can learn how to make resistance their ally. Through colorful storytelling, response activities, and discussion questions, this book shares insights that can help leaders trade unfruitful responses to conflict for a positive approach that promotes growth and unity in their church.
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About "Thriving Through Ministry Conflict"
The Statistics Tell the Story-95% of churches experience conflict.-20% are experiencing it right now.-BUT--94% report at least some positive results.Here's how to manage conflict in your church . . . before it manages you.Church conflict. Words that strike fear into the heart of many a pastor or church leader. But it doesn't have to be that way. Conflict is inevitable, but the way we respond to it is not. Through the fictional story of a typical pastor embroiled in conflict, Thriving through Ministry Conflict will show you how to handle and resolve conflict in a healthy way. By working through a series of response activities and discussion questions, you will understand the emotional dynamics of the Red Zone and the Blue Zone, learn key conflict survival principles, and be equipped with skills for effectively navigating conflict.
There's no need to fear the conflicts that inevitably arise in every church. Pastors and church leaders can learn how to make resistance their ally. Through colorful storytelling, response activities, and discussion questions, this book shares insights that can help leaders trade unfruitful responses to conflict for a positive approach that promotes growth and unity in their church.
Meet the Authors
Todd Hahn (M.Div Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary) is a nationally recognized expert on helping churches understand and reach Generation X, adding and programming alternative worship services, and coaching churches through church planting and satellite campus development. He is widely known for his speaking at workshops and conferences at the denominational level and also in the local church context, as well as planting one of the nation's fastest growing and innovative churches, in North Carolina. Todd is the coauthor of Genxers After God: Helping a Generation Pursue Jesus and Reckless HopA
Joseph M Jurkowski
Joseph M. Jurkowski (M.A. University of Maryland) is the president, chief mobilization officer and one of the founding partners for The Armstrong Group and founder of the Counseling Center of Fairfax, Va. He has worked with Fortune 500 executives as a strategic thinker in conflict resolution, a leader in applying systems theory in organizational settings, an entrepreneur, and a well-respected leader in his work with the federal government. He has appeared in such diverse publications as Entrepreneur, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Washington Post, and CU Times. A
Jim Osterhaus, (PhD, American University) a partner and consultant for The Armstrong Group, has been quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, and many other leading publications. He is a psychologist, dynamic executive coach, and public speaker with extensive experience in helping individuals move through change, conflict, and reorganization. He has authored seven books and written dozens of articles for magazines and trade journals around the country. His latest book, co-authored with Kevin Ford, is The Thing in the Bushes - Turning Organizational Blind Spots into Compe
Table Of Contents
Excerpt from: Thriving Through Ministry Conflict
Thriving through Ministry Conflict Copyright 2005 by TAG---The Armstrong Group Published in association with Eames Literary Services, Nashville, Tennessee Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Osterhaus, James P. Thriving through ministry conflict : by understanding your red and blue zones / James P. Osterhaus, Joseph M. Jurkowski, and Todd A. Hahn. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN-10: 0-310-26344-1 (hard : alk. paper) ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26344-9 (hardcover) 1. Church controversies. 2. Clergy---Psychology. 3. Pastoral theology. I. Jurkowski, Joseph M. II. Hahn, Todd, 1968- III. Title. BV652.9.O88 2005 253---dc22 2005010114 This edition printed on acid-free paper. The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means---electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other---except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. Interior design by Nancy Wilson Printed in the United States of America 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about this book to us in care of email@example.com. Thank you. CHAPTER 1 Welcome to the Jungle Barry Wolf was getting used to the headaches. They started in the back of his head and worked their way relentlessly to a point behind his eyes so that no amount of kneading his temples helped.When a headache hit, he had to accept the misery until sleep or half a bottle of ibuprofen kicked in. It was no way to live if one wanted to lead a church effectively. And Barry was all about effectiveness. After a ten-year career in insurance sales, Barry had come to the conclusion that God wanted him to become a pastor. Packing up his family, including two kids, Barry moved across the country for ministerial studies. Putting his rare combination of people skills and organizational acumen to work, Barry finished school early and landed his first pastorate, leading the First Community Church of Elizabethton, Illinois. Barry had moved into his first call with the conviction that churches in the twenty-first century should be more than traditional chaplaincies and social clubs for the spiritually minded. He believed that the church should have an impact in the community and should function as an effective, life-changing organization by leading people to follow Christ closely and to live that out in their day-to-day lives. Barry wasn't sure how to make this happen, but he had both theological and commonsense business training and figured he could work it out in the field. The call process had been a fairly straightforward one. Jim Grendell, the chairman of the search committee, combined the precision of a veteran CPA with the winsomeness of a gifted salesman. He was also refreshingly honest, even blunt, qualities that Barry admired, even if his own people-pleasing tendencies occasionally prevented him from practicing them. 'Look,' said Jim, 'I believe that you are the man for this job. You are in your midthirties, so you are not wet behind the ears. At the same time, this is your first pastorate, so you are not coming in with a lot of preconceptions. You also have a background as a salesperson, which you are going to need to turn this church around.' Jim described a church whose best days were behind it but which had potential for the future. First Community had been founded during the church boom years of the 1950s and had grown quickly. Located in a fairly affluent suburb of Chicago, the church attracted a wide spectrum of members, from young families to retirees. Its programs for children were known throughout the area, it boasted a series of gifted pastors, and the church made a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of the disadvantaged in the community. The church's growth stabilized in the mid-1960s and stayed level for about another decade. In the 1970s the demographics of the community began to change as many families moved a bit farther away from the Chicago center. Those left behind tended to be older folks who had no desire to move and those who could not afford to move. In time the ethnic composition of the area began to change as well, and First Community, which had been mostly white, did not reflect this change. By the early 1990s the sanctuary, which seated 700 and had been filled nearly to capacity for years, held about 225 worshipers on Sunday morning, and the median age of the congregation was spiking upward. Driven in part by the economic boom of the mid- to late-1990s, young families began to repopulate Elizabethton, but again the church wasn't able to attract this new population. By 2000, when Barry took the reins as pastor, the church's beautiful structure and rich history belied its decline in members, finances, and energy. Barry was not one to shy away from a challenge and so had had no difficulty deciding to come to First Community.With Jim's stated support and the sense of the search committee that Barry was the one to lead the church in its efforts to reach young families and so revitalize itself, Barry and his family had moved to Elizabethton with high hopes and trust in God. The next three years had been the longest of Barry's life. The congregation's worship seemed lifeless. There was a shortage of volunteers in every area. Offerings provided enough money to pay salaries and keep the building up, but there were few resources to expand ministry and create new programs, things Barry knew were essential to reach the changing community. Worst of all, some of his early allies had become antagonists.The search committee had invited him specifically because he was young and creative and they knew the church needed to change. But when Barry began to implement changes---even minor ones to make the worship services livelier and to brighten the children's ministry rooms---he met resistance that seemed wholly out of proportion to his decisions. The great shock was that Jim Grendell had become his nemesis. Five minutes into Barry's first board meeting at First Community Church, it was clear who called the shots---Jim. Jim was not a physically imposing man, but he had a presence about him.He could talk to anyone about nearly everything and did so with charm. He was well spoken, was looked to as a mentor by many, and in spite of his apparent strength was given to emotion and even tears when discussing an issue important to him. And usually others followed him. Jim was the kind of guy you wanted on your side and the exact person you hoped and prayed wasn't aligned against you, because, Barry soon realized, Jim took no prisoners when something stood between him and his goals. And within a year Jim's apparent goal was to ensure that anything Barry proposed was shot down in flames. Barry and his wife, Sophia, sometimes sat up late at night as Barry tried to divine what could have caused the change in Jim, at least the change that Barry perceived.Was Jim threatened by Barry? Was he insecure? Was he manipulative? Had he lied when he recruited Barry by saying the church wanted change, and then did everything he could to block change? Had Barry missed something? And most often, what could Barry do to get around Jim's obstructionism or to change the way Jim led in the church? Now, Barry was ready to pack it in. The board was stalemated. Attendance was static. Finances were mediocre. And Jim's campaign had taken on a new form---personal attacks against Barry.