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7 Tips for Dealing with Angry Church Members

Got some angry church members? Just like angry birds, they have the potential to wreck havoc on all that has been built.

Here are 7 ways to handle them.

1. Pray for Wisdom.

God has promised to provide wisdom to those who seek it (James 1:5). Specifically pray that God will give you wisdom in handling the specific person and scenario. You may want to get the insights from a mentor or your spouse first prior to proceeding.

2. Pray for Peace.

Jesus has promised that He would not leave us alone but that He would send the “Helper” (i.e. the Holy Spirit). In moments like these, I sometimes pray to the Holy Spirit (it’s ok, He’s God) something like, “Holy Spirit, please give me the fruit of peace in dealing with this scenario.”

3. Just the Facts.

Make sure you have the facts right before proceeding. There have been a number of times when I’ve been told, “They say…” to which I have to then ask, “Who are they?” In many cases, the “they” is really only one person. In some cases, there is no “they,” but its “them,” i.e. the person who is telling me “they are mad” is, in fact, the real angry bird. Before proceeding with conflict resolution within the church, I need to know who exactly is angry about what. Thus, be able to clearly define the issue.

4. Meet Privately with the “Angry Bird.”

Jesus taught, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Mt. 18:15 I’ll typically begin the conversation with prayer and asking them to help me understand the situation. More often than not, it’s resolved then and there. In fact, in many cases, you even bond through the process and they may even become your ally.

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Bobby Brewer (D. Min, Phoenix Seminary) is the Pastor of Spiritual Formation and Single Adults at City of Grace, a multi-site church in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He is also the author of "Postmodernism: What You Should Know and Do About It".