Accreditation, conflict and leadership

I have been involved recently with some discussion on accreditation of Baptist Pastors. One of the questions for accreditation candidates is, “do you have any unresolved conflict with anyone?”

Interesting question!

If you had asked me that at the start of my ministry journey the answer would be no. But if you asked me that question now, after 20 years…well. The answer would be a lot more complex.

Let me make a few assertions. If you have not had conflict in your ministry, what have you been doing? Because to be a leader means you will rock the boat, provoke…and cause change. All of these will cause conflict. Some people don’t like to be changed, but sometimes that is your role as a leader. To be prophetic, to provoke, to challenge. Even when, and perhaps especially when, the people you are leading don’t want you to!

Do I have unresolved conflict with some people? Sadly the answer is yes. Sadly I say because I love people. I don’t want to have unresolved tension with anyone. But then, happily the answer is yes. Because I can be provocative, I will challenge, I do sometimes create tension.

4 thoughts on “Accreditation, conflict and leadership”

  1. I guess it all depends on what is meant by “unresolved”.

    If it means that we now have a great relationship with everyone on the planet, then that’s unrealistic. That will often depend on others, meaning that we have no control over the result of our desire to resolve conflict.

    If it means that we have taken every step possible to heal a rift, even if that rift is not healed due to attitudes of others or circumstances we can’t control, then it becomes a little easier to say that we don’t have unresolved conflict.

    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you ……. live at peace with everyone.

  2. Dear Pastor Mark,

    God bless you.
    Thank you so much for reading this comment. I found this web page as a result of your reply to Pastor Brian Houston’s twitter. I would like to contribute to your valuable thoughts on unresolved conflicts. By the way, I still remembered your message at Hillsong Church City Campus more than a decade ago. It was awesome. If a leader or a team member believes in his/her follow team members and his/her leaders as well as those whom he/she serves, there will be a lot less unresolved conflicts. A leader may fail see the context of the big picture of his leader and make a wrong evaluation of a situation. This will cause a conflict that take some time to resolve as the leader needs to grow and in due time to re-evaluate and reflect on that situation. A leader may rush to help a team member or someone in need and not deposit adequate amount of kindness to build a foundation to equip the team member or person in need the way forward. This will cause conflict that require the leader to sow enough kindness to soften ground to try again to help. Yet, in the midst of growth of a church as well as our family and personal lives, we really need God to help us to say, “no” to new opportunity to capture the ones that we need to grow in or re-try again.
    Thanking you.

    Yours in Christ,
    Bill Lee

    1. Dear Pastor Mark,
      Thank you for your reply. Thank you so much for believing in Hillsong. It is much appreciated.
      Yours in Christ,
      Bill Lee

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