Our job is to help you find the resources that you need for your congregation. Your choice is to:
o Reach out to anyone with whom you have a relationship, or
o Call one of the following people as your first contact
- Phil: for congregations in ND, SD, KS, NE, MN, IA
- Dori: for congregations in WI, IL, MO
- Sharon: for congregations in MI, OH, KY, IN
Remember: our job is to connect you with the best person possible to help you be successful, so we might connect you with another of our staff if your question is more appropriate to their area of expertise.
Conflict is normal. When two or more are gathered, there will be disagreements especially in times of great change. Church people disagree about all kinds of things: whether or not to add another Sunday service; where to cut the budget if the pledge drive runs short; whether to put their energy into serving their own membership or serving the larger community, and so on.
Church leaders can't make conflict go away. They can learn -- and help others learn -- how to manage disagreements so that conflict is less likely to escalate and more likely to bear fruit in new understanding and new clarity. When conflict escalates, anxiety rises. As anxiety grows higher, it becomes more and more difficult to manage the conflict, so it's better to manage disagreements before they become more complex.
Many congregations start the church year with a retreat for the Board of Trustees (including the Minister). Ideally, this retreat is held Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, at a site away from the place you usually meet. Perhaps you could go to someone's lake cabin, so you could really get away. If the retreat is at a place where overnight accommodations can be provided, the "down time" between meeting segments will provide an opportunity for people to get acquainted in a less formal setting.