Change and Conflict

You’ve heard it said, “The only one who likes change is a wet baby.” Change is always challenging, but is it necessary to move forward in our lives and ministry!

Sadly, I have never seen significant change without conflict. The reason is that change involves a different direction. Simply put, If someone doesn’t agree with that direction, disagreements follow.


Ron Edmonsons, shares three core issues of conflict when change happens. Change affects all of us and the more we are aware of the core issues, the better we can work through it.
The Care Issue: People can view change as a personal affront. They perceived the leader doesn’t care for them. If the leader genuinely cared for them she would not place them in a situation to change. Change is what happens to people. Transition is how people deal with change. It is the leader’s role to help people transition. Recognize that people may perceive they are not being cared for. Do all you can to show care. Care enough to give them time to process. Care enough to explain the change clearly. Care enough to listen to their concerns. Care enough to make the difficult decisions of change. Just because people do not want to change does not mean they don’t need to change.
The Control Issue: Conflict can happen when some individuals attempt to manipulate others. This is done when people are held hostage emotionally through unfair control. People may attempt to undermine change by withholding funds. People may attempt to resist change through passive aggressive behavior. People may do all they can to blunt change through negative coalition building. Each of these are a form of control. Control issues are best dealt with through honest confrontation.
The Comfort Issue: Change is uncomfortable. When people’s comfort zones are invaded they rebel. The rebellion can be manifested in disengagement, expressed disappointment, and the intentional discouragement of others. It will not be until the pain of remaining in the status quo is overcome by the acceptance of change, that the change will genuinely be embraced. And the difficult leadership decision is to be willing to leave some in their comfort zone while moving forward.
A leader can better lead change when answering three questions people are asking. The challenge is that many would not even know these questions are present. But knowing them and answering them prior to initiating change will help in navigating the core issues.
Why is this change necessary?
How are we going to make the change?
What is in it for me?

Taken from Ron Edmonsons


Tom Rainer made this startling conclusion: “Too many churches are willing to die, rather than change.” So, are you willing to change? How do you respond to change? What issues are affecting you?

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