Conflict is Part of Congregational Life
All congregations experience conflict. While many people’s stomachs knot up at the idea of conflict, conflict itself is not bad. Actually, conflict can present great opportunities for creativity, growth and transformation. How we handle conflict is the key. If conflict is dealt with in covenantal relationships and healthy processes are used, conflict can be a catalyst for exciting change.
Transformation begins with knowing when, and whom to ask for help. It is better to get help sooner rather than later. Unacknowledged or unexamined “differences” often perpetuate conflict. Sometimes an outside facilitator can be a great help in navigating through your congregational culture to better see what issues may not be obvious to you.
As Unitarian Universalists, covenant is our pathway to building/re-building community. All conflict work needs to begin in covenant; we need to understand how we will be together before we can decide what is to be done.
If you feel that your congregation might be headed into conflict it is a good idea to reach out to your Congregational Life regional field staff. Let’s have an initial conversation to see how you might be best supported.