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Michael Hare (Church Conflict) Kevin Leman (Marriage)

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The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2020 5:00 am

Michael Hare (Church Conflict) Kevin Leman (Marriage)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd

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November 16, 2020 5:00 am

There is almost nothing worse in the life of a church than dealing with a serious conflict, but is there a way to recover and grow from it? Dr. Michael Hare joins me to discuss his book: "When Church Conflict Happens." Plus: Dr. Kevin Leman discusses the secrets to lifelong romance in his book, "The Intimate Connection." That's next time on Monday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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This archived broadcast of Janet Mefford today is brought to you by Liberty health share liberty. Healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that allows you to control and manage your own healthcare and choose any doctor or hospital in the nation. If your freedom loving American looking for contract free healthcare call now 855-585-4237 or go to liberty, health for more information liberty health Javid River. Today, our confidence is in Christ alone, the word of God says that soy is no any church.

I would think conflict and sometimes the most serious conflicts can even start with a relatively minor issue that ends up exploding but my next guest says you don't have to dread conflict in your church. Dr. Michael here has been helping churches recover and even grow from conflict for more than 20 years he served as a senior pastor and church turnaround ministries for over two decades and serves as a senior staff chaplain and ombudsman for compassion today will be discussing his book called when church conflict happens. Michael is great to have you with us. Thank you so much greater Bureau protruded opportunity. While sure you point out that every church has conflict and I have no doubt that's true but you also say your church needs conflict, which I think is interesting how would you say that that's the case will a group conflict. Certainly normal and not hold old rollers from all of us know we don't conflict at home or church or work. I believe the difference between healthy conflict about healthy conflict is a lot to do. The beatitude especially church leaders and how they receive engage with conflict. Conflict creates opportunities for issues to be clarified.

Often times when we ignore or avoid conflict issues just remain unresolved in your work so that there's no doubt about that. And yet you distinguish among the different facets of church conflict. You talk about unhealthy conflict, benign conflict and healthy conflict. What you say are the differences among those three categories will course unhealthy conflict of most of when we we sometimes avoid controllers polarization member conflict escalates emotionally not dealt with for the word of in alignment with Scripture where we esteem others better than ourselves and consider it all joy when calling to different trials and tribulations of overexertion theology, I believe the kind of Christian framework form for help. We come from conflict and anything that falls outside of damaging to relationship your church unhealthy. Talk about benign conflict and benign conflict something that's not dealt with very much in the literature books on conflict resolution. Benign conflict is a term I use for conflict. It's not intentional, usually caused because of my book, along with organizational conflict of the church and a clear example would be what so you have to staff members have overlapping job descriptions and neither one of them has read the other person's job description but because are not well written. Both feel responsible for some of the same duties and I feel like the other person is transgressing into their space and the resulting intentional Shirley about the approach Christians would not otherwise be in conflict in conflict and so when there's no malicious intent, not intentional. It's the result of either ignorance or negligence or poor planning or poor organization match benign conflict. Healthy conflict is when we recognize that God has purpose and everything that happens in our lives, and he does indeed work all things together for good to those who love him and we look at it as an opportunity for people to exercise their gifts, which are diverse in a way that maximizes communication and strength purchased for the damages. Write what you seen in terms of bad responses to conflict what what seems to be the most prevalent type of bad response when there's some form of conflict in the church. I would avoidance is the primary one that allows things to get it escalated book but you know responding.

I should say reacting out of one of our emotional our old nature, flight or flight type response instead of being trained up in godliness where we step back a little bit not allow our emotions to get hijacked and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance for wisdom in trying to understand why the Lord would allow this kind of disagreement and then and then engaging in a Christian manner to find good solutions that characterizes healthy conflicts, rights, and when you're talking about avoidance which I know exactly what you are saying there were somebody just there's a problem but I want to talk about it. I want to make waves and I don't want to have any sort of confrontation that can anything, but it is the case, it seems, at least anecdotally, that if you do avoid a problem. It's not as if the problem goes away.

It can be way worse because now you have somebody holding it in you have a chance for an outburst that sort of thing would you say avoidance is in your experience more of an issue in the church leadership or among the laity. The people in the congregation. How have you seen it play out this avoidance problem will first Lord of course is a perfect example.

There were times when he avoided conflict and so sometimes avoiding conflict can be okay. I think the key you to know when to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us there were other times, like when will this avoidance. For example, when he would slip out of the crowd because this time is not yet come or times when he ran the moneychangers out of the temple in a very confrontive way and so I think avoidance is something that does typically is not just church leaders choose all Christians I think and maybe certainly beyond Christian circles. Some people's personalities are such that they just know conflict is very very distasteful to them, but I think with Christians.

We feel often that we we shouldn't have conflict. We are Christian and that comes to causal causes to avoid engaging in a healthy way, or in any way until our motion to get out of control. It would seem that sometimes people will avoid conflict because they've had a bad experience either with the person with whom they have conflict right now or somebody else and they said I don't want to confront and talk about this because it's not to go well for me. How do you advise people through that kind of reluctance, usually in the book address is talk about spiritual good and there's even a survey in the book spiritual Torah conflict style survey that allows people to kind of where their normal response to conflict and I think as we look to the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, we can see that there are number of different ways in which conflict is responded to in a godly way. Sometimes avoidance sometimes confrontation you not think of two verses 11 versus it is a glory to overlook fault in Matthew 18 of courses. If you have problems with a brother or sister or they have problems with you and others a responsibility to confront this and so I think you know spiritual gift assessments can also help but to begin to see the differences that exist between us are resources not just routes.

In other words someone else has a different set of spiritual gifts that I do, then God has actually given them. Those ghosts and not given them to me and that interdependence within the church is God's design and if we can stop back in and so you know this person has different insights from God that I might have know you know normally and I should listen. We should bring all of those perspectives to the table so that we make sure we don't overlook anything like sometimes you can encourage people through spiritual gift assessments were those kind of things to appreciate the differences instead of see them as something you know I actually think that's a great point and I hadn't really thought of it in that way before, but certainly when you have Christians with different gifts you might have. For example, someone who has more of a gift of helps her hospitality who says were not doing enough to really bring people together and help them out or have enough potlucks or we need to do more in that area, you know, maybe we should change things around and we can't see things like that is negative, but that really deal with that.

That's a great point where you pause for a quick break. Dr. Michael here with us. When church conflict happens will be back on jamb efforts. This is Janet Mefford for Bible league international Mabel walks 18 miles to church every Sunday. She lives in Zimbabwe where churches are widely scattered in remote regions of this African country. That's one reason why she travels so far the other reason she walks 9 miles each way is that the gospel has truly captured her heart after coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Mabel reads and studies her Bible she's discovered that the gospel is meant to be shared with others. So with the help of Bible league international she's learning to share her fame she's helping to see a church develop closer to her village finals are desperately needed in Africa and around the world right now and you can send one to a finalist believer today for only five dollars dollars will send 10 Bibles become a Bible center today by calling 800 yes word 800 YWORD 800 yes word or there's Janet open enrollment is here in choosing a healthcare program is an important decision for you and your family as a member of liberty held shared your part of a community that comes together to share their medical expenses. You can sign up now with membership starting as early as the following month and there are no contracts or commitments program start as low as $349 per month and there's no network so you can choose your own doctors and hospitals. Liberty healthcare is a nonprofit ministry not insurance so your money goes toward helping other members with their eligible medical expenses and in your time of need. Other members are there for you to feel good knowing your part of a community of like-minded individuals who understand the importance of people coming together to bear one another's burdens. You can find out That's liberty held liberty held you're listening to you today glad you're here.

Let me talk with Dr. Michael here, author of when church conflict happens a proven process for resolving unhealthy disagreements and embracing healthy ones. We all could use less conflict in our churches. I'm sure that's one of the things Michael it really strikes me of all the horror stories I've heard Christians tell me. Sometimes the church fights are the worst because they end in terrible hurt feelings, but the fruit of all that can sometimes be people become bitter toward God simply because they had a fight in their church. And do you see that when you are hearing stories about church fights that goes beyond what it should've ever been to in the first place, extending even to people's view of of how God sees them when they have a conflict of all known people who heard because of the conflict and overground yes and that's another reason. Actually, that I wrote this book was to try to help church leaders recognize the when my creative environment where people can actually disagree unhealthy ways and in the framework of God's design you know and find the root cause is just one thing I'm not mentioned so far is you know any kind of conflict for surfaces in our interpersonal relationships, but there are many causes to conflict that are not visible and expressions are actually better than 90% of the cases of structural or organizational component or something that's invisible that first so if we just to the conflicts are on the surface, we even if we get reconciliation which I relationally between church to church members or leaders unless that root causes discovered and that's addressed in a healthy way. The conflicts will discontinue and probably get worse.

Alright, so how do you nip conflict in the bud before it becomes a huge problem.

What would be some suggestions there will again so many so much of this depends on how we discover the world situation a theological one. We take God at his word, we could look at passages like James chapter 1 were James shows, count it all joy when you fall into various temptations and trials, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. Let patience have its perfect work in the picture.

There is literally no frying pan is getting harder and harder and everything about you wants to jump out and God is saying.

I think in many circumstances I I need you to stay there and let me purify you and I think conflict is the reason why churches need it creates environments for us to grow spiritually, that could actually strengthen relationships and strengthen the church as a whole. That's very true that strips what you said I think is is important for people to understand when you cited that 90% of the conflicts can be tied to some extent to organizational or structural issues.

Is that what you're talking about when you mentioned a few minutes ago.

For example, the two employees who might have kind of nebulous job descriptions and so they end up having a conflict over who's job is what simply because somebody didn't write the job description in the right way correct and you can get those two people down, make nice to each other but if you haven't solved the underlying structural problem. The conflicts are to come back right now. What about the issue of conflict that comes from sin, you had mentioned Matthew 18 and I mean specifically if there is sin in me know church members life and we know that passage says if your brother sister sends going point out the file just between the two of you that they won't listen, take one or two others along etc. etc. and if they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church. How much do you emphasize the obedience to Matthew 18 in the church is where you know you have a problem with people.

People don't want to have their sin dealt with in that kind of away, but on the other hand, if you don't deal with it.

Your you're really not being faithful to Scripture either. How do you advise churches on on just a Matthew 18 situation will give an example would work in a church up in New England, there have been a cultural gospel were people and I think our American culture is very much entrenched in the social media and so forth were we have something negative to say about someone instead of going to that person and trying to deal with it in a healthy way we talk to others about about the gospel and so this church in New England. I can remember standing up in the pulpit on a Sunday morning after being invited to show course and just presenting what we called covenant and it was it was challenging the congregation when somebody comes to you and start talking negatively about someone else.

You don't direct them to Matthew 18 and direct them back to the person and if they seem reluctant, for whatever reason offered to go with but don't entertain but also somebody refuses to be obedient in this way, then they need to be dealt with an appropriate manner which could go all the way to church discipline and creates really a cultural shift. In this particular church. The church culture was transformed by the people. The few people that didn't obey and cooperate with the covenant eventually left on their own or were disciplined all the church of the church culture got much healthier while well now as to the group conflict.

This is something else that you talk about in the book when you're dealing with group conflict that can be a little bit different dynamic than interpersonal conflict. But what sorts of problems.

Have you seen a rise between groups. You know this committee. That committee. This group of staffers or this group of people over here and they have different things they want Don and they don't like the other people doing what they want to do is there a particular way that group conflict can be managed in a church in a good way. Absolutely I think the principles found in Matthew 18 certainly are the same ones that can be kind of transposed into the group situation so that for example if there's two groups that are not getting along to two departments are to ministry teams whatever to.

Usually, the conflict will surface first course interpersonal conflict. If the church leaders are kind of on their toes and am spiritually attuned, then they don't just look at that is not a personal conflict will actually look at it and asked the question is are more involved here than just this conflict between these two individuals.

Matthew 18 actually is a picture a scriptural picture of what we normally think of mediation and arbitration so if you have a problem with two people and I can't resolve it. That's negotiation. If you bring somebody else in the help that's mediation.

If you take it to the church. Such arbitration.

So the world is, taken out over not given got credit for the same principles work with groups where you could actually through your viewing and listening. Find out what the root cause is pull those teams together and use a process that I co-facilitated problem-solving in the book, which is very similar.

Mediation is just slightly adapted for groups and it can create a healthy environment in which to solve group conflict do you when you're talking about. That is, it generally advised that the pastor should be the one to pull the groups together is the pastor.

Always the person who should be facilitating the reconciliation when there's a conflict of that sort, not thoroughly, although the pastor certainly should be on board with whoever's doing that work in the book are person structure for creating reconciliation teams: church health teams and training people in the congregation to do that work, but it's all certainly under the authority of the church and pastor of the elders. Whatever the church government is and blessed by that occasionally certainly the pastors name the most ideal position specially if it's a churchwide conflict to try to facilitate but I don't think there's anything wrong at all with some people are much more gifted, spiritually and naturally you know to help reconcile conflict and bring peace and you know me, you take somebody who's got the gift of prophecy is the gift of mercy have very different perspectives past and both can receive training and build skills but it's real important to use those complementary skills in a team if you can end up in a larger church.

Let's try and also the pastor can be right in the middle of the conflict as well. I mean, I've been in scenarios like that throughout my life for the pastor actually is part of the main group that's in a conflict and that you don't then it's can necessitate other people you know you have this option. Don't you when you talk about mediation, you actually do have groups that can help churches if they need help in an even at the denominational level for a church that's in a denomination. Sometimes there can be outside help right from denomination to do a great job with some to start really trained for us.

But if you're not really following biblical principles they can make it worse and so you know I work with an organization called living stones Associates and we were we work was crawling across denominational and helping churches resolve conflict.

So if there is not a resource I mean I really do encourage churches to try to do this internally without outside intervention because I think that's the healthiest that's one reason I wrote the book. I think the book actually presents two tools necessary to help churches do that on their own. But if they need outside help you. Certainly they could look at their denomination and see if there's help their but I would recommend that the kind of do a background check in and look at the history and see if those denominational resources been successful in other churches, and if not maybe look to an outside consulting group right well well, as you say, and really the premise of your book is that it's not that you won't have a conflict in your church because you will have a conflict in your church, even if it's a small one. Or it could be a huge one.

But the point is, there is a way to deal with church conflict when it happens. That's the name of the book when church conflict happens. Dr. Michael here with us. Michael is great to have you.

Thank you so much for being here for the opportunity. Absolutely. God bless you too will be back on Janet this archived broadcast of Janet Mefford today is brought to you by Liberty health liberty health is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that allows you to control and manage your own healthcare and choose any doctor or hospital in the nation.

If your freedom loving American looking for contract free healthcare call now 855-585-4237 or go to liberty for more information liberty efforts today.

Marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. We enter into marriage by making vows to one another, not the least of which is the pledged together until death do us part. But how do we create a happy and lifelong connection with our spouses along the road of life to talk about that now with internationally known psychologist and award-winning author Dr. Kevin Lehman's latest book, the intimate connection secrets to a lifelong romance and so good to have your Dr. Lehman how are you doing you been married, one years old role I use got the chops then to give us some guidance. I know this because you know this is one of the things you have people who are getting married in their early 20s, thinking I'm so in love.

This will last forever. And then when they turn around and the romance doesn't feel so romantic anymore. They say what did I make a mistake what you say to those couples about the expectations and about what they don't understand about marriage or ball. We walked on the flowers while people got married people will go about six will you marry your in-laws.

What happened in that family relationship between the mother of the bride and her father and so you know we all live in Lala land a little bit like marriage and most people don't understand the marriage is easy but it is a simple paradigm to help you get through it really up to understand who the heck you married a member of the young girl might not my knees knocking and my wife is very member just thinking what a lucky dude I was sure live with our there she was with her little bouquet of flowers. We spent $29 on the flowers and the entire wedding little bouquet and I didn't really understand until we were married and I figured out what.she's a firstborn she could imagine that I was the youngest child are very few rules and it takes a while to get behind each other's eyes and see how they see life from the question is if you love this one love this man will you really find out what his or her needs are will you do your best to make a good starting point.

I'm intrigued by what you said when you say that you actually see a marriage of six people because you have the in-laws as well as the married couple. What you seen in your experience as far as the effect of your family of origin on how you are acting in your own marriage. What sorts of issues your family of origin tends to bring up in your own marriage what what are your overall thoughts on that whole issue log fall talk about walks and wanted to, or whatever books are critical father will pick on you women all critical father all you think you want a reason why your progression what you don't finish what you start off great men die like tire horse a long way and mother saw the boy grow up with the Bible, could spot a flawed place as well. I'm trying to pull the little boy little girl you once were married once were you still are. Here she is working in the background all comes from the relationship or not relationship you had with the primary people in life yeah what you do about it. For example, if you have, you know, we did it this way in my family. This is what we do we celebrate Christmas evil. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas day. I know sorts of issues you can work through but you know you think. Anyway, that's true. I danced to.

I shouldn't of been so dismissive but when you talk about the really fundamental big huge problems.

If you had a spouse who grew up in an alcoholic family. For example, and they're all sorts of issues that your spouse might have because of that experience how you move past that experience to be able to have healthy marriage on your own.

Well, you recall what shall become one, because the greater one is made to women so weird. I agree one of my right leg is walking to a ballgame simultaneously altering boxer shorts and playing on the phone. Don't forget that part, but you will all men and women. If you look at a woman's needs and God was so smart because he latest. I think work toward becoming one, because women love love communication over one to my mind of a woman's needs for his commitment to the family. All ask yourself how good is great that most of us are not great communicators. Women are the words used three times the number words you women know when my simple question? Why were women love questions like inquirer mind, one that we specialize in our relationships and our needs are much more direct. Quite frankly, we want to be needed. We want to be wanted. We want to be respected. Well, if you know well if you figure that out flipside of that well, but your question with all the baggage or background you have to be a couple other words people today are in a blended family first time around.

Didn't go to well always tell if there's an inch of light between your shoulders, your own children will bear you a successful marriage that's really an important thing in the sex differences will always be with us. I think we also run up against a cultural problem which I know is not lost on you, Dr. Lehman, but we have a culture that is constantly telling us we deserve to have our needs met and so we have to be very proactive in telling our spouse. What what what I need what I need when I need but there is something that we understand as Christians is there has to be a certain selflessness in which we are serving one another. None of us do it perfectly. Some of us do it very badly. How do you work through that the mindset of saying okay, fine. I need my needs met, but I also need to meet her needs are. I need to meet his needs as well. As best I can. Smart and 29. True. A simple example my Wi-Fi color warrants like you're not going out like water sure one spot will be back in our mate William E that's a reflection of paper may leading me. I need a hog.

So I will close my computer. I go over and give her a hug. Just thinking well all right but because I asked him to not because he really wanted to. Yes, in this book will try to do is make things painfully simple.

When a woman so sure you want to stop asking questions. Second, actually working a pause for a quick break.

Dr. Kevin Lehman, the intimate connection is the name of the every day we make choices when a young woman with an unplanned pregnancy has to choose between the life or death of her baby. This will be one of the biggest choices she will ever make this young man came to a pre-born center under pressure to terminate the life of her 22 week old baby and was offered choices when I start talking like this question after meeting her baby on ultrasound and receiving the love and support she needed at a pre-born center. This mom had a heart change outline of her face is right here on rank was so shocked. I was really happy pre-born is the largest provider of free ultrasounds in America introducing moms to their pre-born babies for $140 you can help rescue five babies lives and now through match your gift will be doubled to donate, call 855402 baby 855-402-2229 open enrollment is here and choosing a healthcare program is an important decision for you and your family as a member of liberty help your part of a community that comes together to share their medical expenses. You can sign up now with membership starting as early as the following month and there are no contracts or commitments program start as low as $349 per month and there's no network so you can choose your own doctors and hospitals liberty help is a nonprofit ministry not insurance so your money goes toward helping other members with their eligible medical expenses and in your time of need. Other members are there for you to feel good knowing your part of a community of like-minded individuals who understand the importance of people coming together to bear one another's burdens. You can find out That's liberty liberty how time for today. What are the secrets to a lifelong romance were talking with Dr. Kevin Lehman, best-selling author about his book intimate connection you were saying something. I think that is quite good. Dr. Lehman. Before we went to that last break about when your wife asks you if you want to go out for ice cream. It's not really a question. This is simply a rule, relational shoulder nice and thoughtful.

She put into question form. Keep your mind men don't like what you like to stop for ice cream will know what you say I want your mocha almond now so you really learning law women party. I can down the corner for women and talk with, I'm really good. Women think and feel acquired skill.

I arranged a surprise party for my wife well firstborn children basically don't like surprises.

They are organizers, surprise party for about two months, she would not a happy dude like you have to know who you're leaving and my women love it when we stand up to the plate and we need to be told. Couples can you pray together audibly be surprised, thoughtful and pro rata couples will look at your ideal self or your real self.

Scripture says even though Joel can you Dobson with your bride pray tonight to leave Joel and all clear for most women really love God will woman kind of things you need to be be a good listener without judgment.

Women talkers to most women think what you say to this question avoid the why word you're probably going to do.

Why were we just possible. I realized ladies hanging on if you want your husband to talk to. This is worth a whole book learn to save your husband probably ask your opinion about something you will talk your Everyman will give you his opinion? Alden go up shortstop interesting as a man. Why is it that men don't like being asked questions like I think probably a lot of women are wondering about that. Why don't you like okay I just asked why question give me some grace here. But while she like questions why don't men like questions were driving or law yes and your wife motor long lost visual pool direction. Why every woman I love her so that all will probably partly true, but the real reason you not want to let all those cars and trucks by him.

He works hard work. The protector we feel. I think we usually like we have to help with writing. I'm sure I'm clueless. Do you pencil you know. I can tell you I'm still learning.

There's times I get I just cannot understand why she does things she does to New York. I was on Fox news. Recently there was a 9 W. 9 W. door. Oh boy. I walked around look at some other shops and blogger for two hours with not a shoe should we need to go to Soho so that's where we go so $35 later, she finds a place called Sam about an hour and she came out beaming me she had to know her true size and she was like she won the lottery per shoe size to Dr. Lehman. I mean every woman knows that will be more woman I grew older, but finds me drawing the computer hard because she felt like she was all part of soon to my wife Mrs. something about you is important you got your back side stupid or a radio show. I don't think I'll finish the wise move. Well three hours in a shoe store is a long time.

Even if your woman I will send you a long time so you get points for that. What you said earlier than when you say that women really love men to step up to the plate that's a mixed bag as well is that man can walk into that. I know my husband can step into a problem, sometimes with me. I want to step up to the plate but if you step up to the plate more than I wanted you to thank. I get annoyed go a woman who understand what you going to early in our marriage we are treated fairly close together that we have a surprise or shock. 48 member I was little to all that my wife went to church all day woman. She came home. I can still remember seeing her shadow appear to your all gone and she should look what happened here.

I should go.

What happened to likely neutral four times. Once you walk in a woman shoe understand how delightfully relational. These creatures are the God created the smart man acknowledges in words how appreciated he is of her contribution to the family rocket shot today people get married today. Most people live together all churches all across America question, you're married 12 years married nine typical approaching marriage is very cavalier about issues like trade issues on she'll go now. On the flipside that that's so good what you're saying about how to understand your wife know what she's up against what will be the one piece of the best piece of advice you give to Weiss on how to make your husband feel needed and wanted and respected, what would be a really practical way of expressing that to him I would work people say what time strictly for your old simple creature compared to you would be much more creature of habit than you are so figuring out what pleases the wife. Most men like a little mesh women are women are much more, relational, get behind her eyes. She how she sees life as a woman to a man you say kind things about people seal out Monterey, California. Lock someone through a 3 pound fresh plop plop check this out.

Ladies, your husband actually wants to please you think that you believe are in Almighty God really do want to please you realize what a great human being the mother of your children bride for sure about the intimate connection always good to talk to Dr. Lehman.

Really appreciate your being with us great.

It's nice.

I got my seat thanks a lot for being with us.

Thanks for listening to jam everything as always, we appreciate you very very much see

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