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?”
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.