We covered the reasons churches are both conflict prone and conflict averse. Looked at the dynamics of conflict, How to analyse a conflict and prepare well for facing it. We finished with some reflection on Matt 18 and the processes of dealing with interpersonal conflict.
The vocation of Christian ministry is one of the most complex and demanding of all leadership tasks. Ministry requires not just personal, spiritual, and theological foundations, but a wide range of individual and communal people skills. It brings wonderful encouragements but can also generate deep spiritual and emotional exhaustion. Ministry can stress family relationships and place pressure on friendships. These ordinary forms of support, often more easily available to others, are complicated in ministry by the places and times in which we are called to serve. And ministry also engages us in conflict. Our desire is to see the grace of God transform ourselves, our church communities and society around us. That challenge and change is not always welcome and there are real personal costs in leading others to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are painfully aware that not all find pathways through these pressures and stresses.
I enjoyed spending this week with Victorian Presbyterian Clergy and their families on their annual camp. We anchored 4 studies in the book of Philippians and then reflected together on several areas of ministry: Resilience, Partnership and Conflict Management. There was also a ministry workshop on sexual dynamics. All the notes, brainstorms and links follow: