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12 Key Reasons for Staff Conflict

6. There is clear insubordination. Here is an excerpt from an email a pastor sent me; it came from the worship pastor: “I am going to lead the worship service the way I want to lead it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

7. Church staff have formed unhealthy alliances. Different alliances within the church, both formal and informal, often develop around specific church staff. It can feel akin to hostile political parties always seeking to win their way.

8. Communication is poor. The staff do not spend time together sufficiently in either formal or informal settings. The pastor decides to lead down a certain path, but he has not gotten “buy-in” from others on the team. They may not even know about it.

9. There are work ethic divergences. One staff person works 60 hours a week. Another works 30 hours a week. But they are considered peers with similar pay. Resentment is likely to build.

10. The staff spend time casting blame at each other. Obviously, such actions are terrible for relationships. They are destructive rather than constructive.

11. Solutions are frustrated or thwarted. The pastor goes to the personnel committee to seek help dealing with an insubordinate and lazy student pastor. The personnel committee refuses to support the pastor because any proposed solutions “would not be the Christian thing to do.”

12. There is a consistent lack of appreciation. One of the key ways to promote church staff unity is to show appreciation. One of the key ways to promote church staff disunity is never to show appreciation.

Dealing with reality

I often write about the negative realities of church life because too many church staff members and church members are unwilling to admit them. However, I have a greater purpose. It is my desire to uncover these challenges so we can know exactly what we can do to be redemptive and unifying to bring glory to God through these important relationships.