While working at a local ‘mega-church’, If I was upset or angry about something that happened in my ministry, I would take it out in an email to the volunteer leaders, say the most stupid comments, try to resolve, (if I can even call it that) through a team wide email. Then one day, one of the leaders came into my office and let me know that they were stepping away from the student ministry leadership team. Before he left, he opened a folder full of emails that I had written and sent from the past year, with highlighted sentences that were so completely out of line, and not how a team should operate. Ouch.
It was at that moment that I decided to correct myself and redirect myself with the “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO” method…
Matthew 18:15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”
I can’t tell you how many times this chunk of wisdom has come into play. Going directly to the person, and if that doesn’t work-going back with another, and so on. Conflict stinks. Confrontation isn’t my most favorite thing to do. But sometimes, it has to be done for forgiveness to happen, grace to be extended, and the journey to move forward.
If you have a problem, go to that person-not everyone else around that person.
If you need to, bring someone with or have all parties present who are “in” on the conflict.
One piece of extra wisdom, another nugget of advice somebody gave me,….have someone read over your email before you send it. Another pair of eyes can help in the success of communication.