Monday, July 23, 2007

Next Article - Embracing Conflict - Just Posted on
This article was over a year in writing and editing. Conflict is uncomfortable in any situation and most particularly in Christian community. That's why Paul had to address it so frequently in his letters.

At the heart of this article is an insight inventory, The Engagement (Conflict) Styles test. The test is based on behaviors having their root in Godly virtue. Character is what others see. Virtue drives character and is the pure heart and mind of Christ within us desiring to get expressed. In no human activity does our character get tested more than in times of conflict. Take the test and see if virtue is shining through.

The beginning paragraph sets the foundation for discussion.

If you think it’s hard being a leader when all is going well, try leading in the midst of conflict. In times of tension and dissension, when the core qualities of leadership are plumbed, when disagreements surface and interpersonal friction threatens division, the characteristic that distinguishes a truly effective leader from a good leader emerges: relationship with God. It’s the spiritual leader—the leader in secure relationship with God—who can not only tolerate tension but can actually embrace it. It’s the spiritual leader who is able to take people of common purposes and achieve uncommon results.

The concluding paragraph caps the thought.

How to be a Christian in the 21st century is becoming more controversial in the marketplace. How do we maintain the truth of our beliefs, yet engage a community who increasingly does not share those truths? Christians living in Europe and North America have had it easier in the last 200 years of our faith, and I believe the easy times—times not filled with tension because of who you are—are coming to a close. Yet, if the cause of Christ is to change the world, then those who call themselves Christians must be known for the peace they influence rather than the battles and wars they have caused or even won. To paraphrase John 13:34, the world will know we are Christians not by how we wage our war, but how we live our love.

Let me know what you think of the article. Go to It is the sixth in a series for spiritual leaders and is one of five articles in the Unit on Empowering Leaders. You can access the article through the Handbook tab on the home page or by going through My Training Record after logging on. When you log in you can take notes and have them saved for future reference.