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Conflict Management

Conflict ResolutionDo you like to travel? I’m frequently asked that, and my response is: “No, I do NOT! But I really do like doing what I do when I get there.” 🙂 So I tolerate those endless flights and uncomfortable roads. I’ve just returned from Thailand and have discovered that flying from Toronto, up over the North Pole and down across Russia and China is two hours shorter than going across the Pacific Ocean and northern USA. When flying through 13 of the 24 time zones, two hours may not sound like much but the return flight of 20 hours flying, and 10 hours of airports, makes home, and time to blob here, sooooooo nice!

Newspapers in Thailand were reporting political chaos, large scale protests and the Prime Minister facing charges of ‘negligence of duty’. April is also Thai New Year, which tends to be the most dangerous/inconvenient time to travel. It was an interesting visit!

In this line of work I bump into leaders in remote places who have heaps of enthusiasm but struggle with understanding scripture. Because enthusiasm to discover God is rampant there is tremendous numerical growth of churches and congregations in some parts of the world. But too many leaders have an audience, but very limited understanding of scripture. They practice a cultic gospel by mixing hearsay with bits of truth. That is a major handicap and requires lots of Bible translation. That’s why I really like doing what I do when I get there. 🙂

In the Thai conference I focused on Life Management Planning, or in other words “determining Father’s will for your life”. I led the group of leaders to investigate scriptural basis to help them understand how to do conflict management. The photo provides a Thai translation of a chart that portrays team togetherness.

One of the leaders, after attending a similar workshop last year, came again and very eloquently summarized the training this time by saying:

“I never realized the importance of Hebrews 10 before for fulfilling Body life. Now this ‘as is’ / ‘could be’ chart is relevant to me. I call it the “Fulfilling Dreams Chart”. As I begin understanding the behavioural motivations of members of our congregation, I see how we can capitalize on effectively working together. First I was helped so much on a personal level; now I can expand this training to bring my whole group closer together. Now I’m beginning to realize that the conflicts we’ve had can be substantially resolved because we DO have a God given vision. He DID bring us together and this different realization has made our group a much better fellowship.”

There are some great courses, mostly in the secular world, that teach personality styles and leadership types. Most of them do not realize their roots are founded on scriptural basics. Do you know anyone who acts like one of these Bible characters?

  • Peter – opinionated and vocal; has lots of faith; pushes relentlessly; can be unforgiving
  • Martha – trustworthy; cheerfully assisting; … can be exploited
  • Luke – accurate researcher; diligent; knowledgeable; … can be aloof
  • Paul – world changer; inspiring; gregarious; … sensitive to rejection
  • Dorcas – nurturing; discriminate; networker; … can be diffident
  • Nehemiah – busy; competent; independent; … can be task oriented
  • David – intimate; sensitive and friendly; … have difficulty making decisions

Conflict Management:When team members regard each other with mutual respect, differences are utilized and are considered strengths rather than weaknesses. The role of the leader is to foster mutual respect and build a complementary team where each strength is made productive and each weakness irrelevant.” ~ Stephen Covey

As Laura and I continue accepting invitations to minister in places that don’t have ready access, we appreciate your prayers and your encouragement for resources to do it. Our ministry is faith based and we enjoy our Father’s hand directing our efforts through individual’s gifts. Thank you, for assisting us to reach out to people on your behalf, or for inviting us to assist you with teaching in your group.

Delighted to serve our Lord along with you and on your behalf … john (with Laura)


(original post Apr 16 2014)


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