Mick’s Memo—The Inevitability of Conflict

Those who attended the Teen Takeover last weekend may have had to have an extra cup of coffee before coming to church Sunday—our teens are a tough act to follow, and I’m not getting any younger!  I was inspired by all the teens and appreciate their efforts and the efforts of our childrens’, middle school, and high school leadership teams as they have invested in their lives.

This weekend we will conclude our “Talk, Talk, Talk” series with a message about “Talking Through Conflict”.  God’s sense of timing and sense of humor has provided me with plenty of recent experiences either observing or participating in conflict.  We can experience conflict with complete strangers who cut us off in traffic or at a gas pump.  We can experience conflict internally over competing desires or expectations.  We can experience conflict with those closest to us—spouses, siblings, or children.  We can experience conflict with our co-workers due to overlapping responsibilities or divergent priorities.  We can feel conflict with God when our circumstances seem to escape his attention.  Remember our theme verse for this series?

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.                                              Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Conflict generates problems for our talk.  When embroiled in conflict, we are much more likely to transmit “unwholesome talk”—to tear down, to ignore others needs and to provide no benefit for those who listen. The result is usually more conflict with greater destructive consequences and more difficulty in finding means of reconciliation and restoration of relationships.  We experience it personally and we all see it in today’s public arena. 

Our fear of the escalation and destructiveness of conflict tempts us to avoid and bury it.  Unfortunately, that often festers, grows and expands the conflict.  Jesus faced conflict constantly and gave us clear instruction and multiple examples of how to address conflict.  We will investigate them together Sunday.

I hope all CrossRoads’ regulars will join us Sunday night for an update on the Expansion Project and a discussion of the pastoral staffing succession planning the board of elders has been undertaking. I am inspired by the progress being made on both fronts.

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!