Some churches do this thing. There are the whispered tales of who did what and when and how. And the choosing of sides and the hurt feelings and bitterness that can last for years and even decades.
Churches are torn apart. Careers and ministries are destroyed. Families broken.
Some churches do this over and over and their histories are full of pastors that have lasted only a short time and left on their own, or were fired or forced out or were driven from the ministry entirely. Sometimes these churches are called “Clergy Killers.” It is a horrible name and even worse when it has been earned.
Sometimes these churches are called “Clergy Killers.” It is a horrible name and even worse when it has been earned.
Though it is almost always a mystery to those involved, the dynamic of these sort of churches is actually well understood. The conflicts are driven by a few people with special wounds and needs.
Jesus and Paul called them wolves. We will call them high conflict people. These people are destructive. They are also in a great deal of pain. They may consider both the pain and the destruction to be completely normal. No matter. We need to learn how to love even these people as we minister.
The actions of high conflict people are very predictable. In fact, they have a very limited number of behaviors they can choose from. Learning how they think and why is essential to the longevity of your ministry and the health of your church. Learning how to recognize their behaviors and knowing what they are likely to do next is essential. And most importantly, learning how to love these people with their own set of needs is necessary to move ahead and protect your family, save your church and deepen your ministry.
That is why we created this website.
Next Steps: Even in their pain and in the wake of their destruction, these people aren’t monsters. They are the difficult people we are called to attend to. Is your church in conflict right now? Do you know who is driving the conflict? Do you know their stories? Do you know their pain? Do you know their friends, family, co-workers? Start with this for today. It will be enough.
Start Here: A Word About Wolves
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