There’s an unhealthy presupposition in a large majority of churches in America that conflict is bad and should be avoided at all costs.
After all, if we’re all Christians, shouldn’t we all just somehow magically get along?
When conflict is avoided, all kinds of negative things happen. But when it’s handled well, even properly encouraged, it can be a team leader’s greatest asset.
Healthy conflict is a pathway to intimacy.
When conflict is pressed into instead of shied away from, the team learns to address issues in an honest and straightforward manner. Attacking the problem, not the person.
The best ideas are allowed to surface, unhealthy behavior is corrected and the mission of the church takes ground. The best byproduct of healthy conflict is it provides the opportunity for greater depths of trust to be built on the team.
By the way, if you’re looking for a healthy model for biblical conflict, check out Matthew 18.
Unhealthy conflict is a pathway to dysfunction.
Unhealthy conflict leads to politics, posturing and silos.
Among other things, a culture of enablement is built, problems get bigger, passive aggressive behavior is more common and rumors abound.
Ultimately, the unity of the team is at stake and the advancement of the mission of the church slows to a crawl, at best.