Title

Managing conflict in the life of a congregation at a Seventh-day Adventist church.

Date of Award

5-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

Conflict had marred congregations from the beginning of time and continues to be a concern in the Body of Christ today. Members of the congregation have a diversity of gifts and talents which become a catalyst for contention when individuals do not employ these gifts to honor and glorify God, but seek their self-interest and glory. Many congregants are concerned about the direction of the church and the methods used to resolve conflict. The Hackettstown Seventh-day Adventist Church was plagued with internal conflict. Conflict arose because there was not dynamic leadership, and culture played a significant role in perpetuating the conflict. Although attempts had been made to stem the tide of the internal strife, it was compounded by the lack of respect directed towards each other. This project established a blend of biblical studies with the current understanding of conflict management. Highlighted are the biblical texts that speak directly to conflict, and the approach and methodology used to resolve conflict. It also examined the difficult relationships in the Bible and how forgiveness factors into the restorative process for believers. Basic elements of forgiveness were suggested to encourage congregants to move toward healing and godlikeness. The reshaping and understanding of theology as it relates to Matthew was studied. This was used as the biblical template for confronting and resolving conflict. Active listening was recognized as an important tool to resolving conflict. With an awareness and application of this tool, broken relationships were restored and positive results were seen at the end of the project.