Bukal Life Care
Conflict in the
Two Truths to Face
Look around the room
1. There will be conflicts
2. These are some of the people you will be in
● Culture Shock
● Our Hidden and Blind Selves
● Personality Conflicts and Substantive Concerns
● Group Process Storming
● “Bomb in the Suitcase”
● Ministerial Stress
● Our culture establishes norms and taboos, and rewards and
● When we go to a new culture, at first it is exotic and
exciting... something new and interesting to experiences.
● However, this will soon wear off... and the new culture will
begin to be irritating.
● Additionally, you will feel incompetent... difficult
communicating, not knowing what to do, having to be told
what to do like a child.
● This irritation leads to stress, anger, and disagreements.
Hidden and Blind Selves
● We get along with others
best when each has a large
mutual “Open Self:” aware
of who we are and others
also aware of us.
● Blind and Hidden selves
lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations,
Personality and Substantive Differences
● God has made each of us unique.
● We have different personalties, beliefs, visions and
ways of doing things.
● This WILL lead to tensions
● Every person on your team will have things about
them that will annoy you. It is likely you will
discover these things at inconvenient times.
Group Process Storming
● Healthy groups go through a transitional stages. One
of these, “storming” is where the group discovers
how to work together effectively and efficiently.
Storming is important, but not easy, often involving
“Bomb in the Suitcase”
● Our weaknesses, masked by social controls at home
and by accountability structures, can be carried with
us and “explode” in a new setting.
● (and many more)
● Long-hours traveling
and minstering puts a
major toll on the body,
the emotions, and the
● This can lead to burn-
out, breakdown of
fatigue, and lashing out
● People can pretend to get along, hide behind a
“mask” and deal with lack of sleep and self-care...
● Stresses accumulate over time, and little problems
begin to become big problems.
So What Can We Do to Help Ensure that
Conflicts don't Destroy the Ministry?
● Healthy View of Conflict
● Healthy Boundaries
● Handle small problems when they are small
● Establish a community of trust
● A healthy person knows
himself or herself.
● Know strengths,
weaknesses, triggers, areas
where one can help, and
areas where one can be of
Healthy View of Conflict
● Conflicts are not necessarily caused by sin or
● Conflicts happen because each person is unique, and
people care about what is going on.
● God made us unique and it is good that we care.
● Handled right, conflict leads to growth, team
cohesiveness, and greater overall effectiveness.
● We are not machines (and even
machines need a break now and
then). God made us limited and
● Take care of your health. Get rest
when you can. Take breaks.
Maintain spiritual and social health.
● Good communication prevents many team
problems. Share with others regarding yourself. Ask
others about themselves.
● People do not read minds. The Bible says we should
grieve with those that grieve... forgive one another...
admonish one another... encourage one another...
and bear one another's burdens. These start with
● Know beforehand what you will allow and what you
● It is not ungodly to say “No.” God created us as
limited beings with limited resources.
● Remember, that others need healthy boundaries as
well. Respect those boundaries.
● Healthy boundaries become more important, and
harder to maintain in new places in new situations.
Handle Small Problems When They are
● Many (most?) small
problems don't just go
away. They may build into
● Alternatively, even if the
small problem “goes away”
it may leave residual
stresses and emotional scars
that will make the next
problems harder to handle.
Establish a Community of Trust
● People share concerns, accept criticisms, and work
through conflict better when there is mutual trust.
● Trust means that we won't be judged for saying what
we think and feel.
● Trust means we believe that we have each other's
best interests at heart.
● Trust means we believe that we share a common
vision for the team even when there are differences
in terms of methods, or priorities.
What Happens When Conflicts are NOT
A mission team can go through similar process as
what happens in a church when conflicts are not
<Reference: The Escalating Stages of Unresolved
Church Conflict by Ken Newberger>
“Two intensifying processes take place
throughout the stages of unresolved conflict:
(a) an increasing personal frustration over the
unresolved issue(s), and (b) an increasing
negative perception of the character of the
other person / people.”
Stage 1. (Sometimes) an Uncomfortable
Feeling. Something is wrong but not sure
Stage 2. A Problem to be Resolved.
Problem identified. <Issue-focused>
[Best time to resolve a conflict]
Stage 3. A Person to Differ with. (Other
person-focused) Sides are determined.
Discussion changes from what is the best
solution, to who is right and who is wrong.
Stage 4. A Dispute to Win. <Issue-focused
with greater intensity> Collaboration breaks
down. Other issues begin to add to the
conflict. Feelings get hurt.
Stage 5. A Person to Attack. <Other person-
focused. Greater intensity>. Battle lines are
drawn. Stereotyping of the other side occurs
with the worst thought of adversaries.
Stage 6. My “Face” to Save. <Self-
focused. Greater Intensity> Things get
personal. Protecting one’s image and
character become dominant. Things are seen
as black vs white, good versus evil.
Stage 7. A Person to Expel, Withdraw from,
or Ruin. <Other person-focused, Greater
intensity> All or nothing battle. Someone or
a whole group must go.
Stage 8. The Aftermath. All are affected.
Some are embarrassed. Some are not
satisfied and want to ruin the reputations of
others. Some are full of shame and now lose
confidence in themselves.
This sounds extreme... but around the world
IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY!!