Okay, well, not really, but I do! Are you confused?
No one likes conflict. It is taxing, tiring, drains you and is just plain no fun. But imagine your ministry without parents complaining, children always eager to attend and ready for the lesson, church leaders never commenting on what the “kids” are doing to the building. Sounds great doesn’t it?
But how would God look at a ministry like this? Would it be reaching and discipling others? If you have children and parents attending who do not know Jesus, then you may encounter conflict. I’d venture to say that you definitely will. Maybe the children don’t behave as well as the “church kids” and the parents of the “church kids” complain because they don’t want their children exposed to the “community” or “bus” kids, or generally the “non-church” kids. “Church” parents may even complain if you mention Santa, the Easter Bunny, or even reference the Simpsons. All families at some point may say we are “judging” them.
In the church, I want non-believers there so they can learn about Jesus. I want to be reaching out into the community. I want mature Christians there to help disciple and I want everyone in between at different levels growing in Christ.
At the same time, if people know and follow Jesus, then I want them working on unity within the Body of Christ and not developing, or fostering, conflict.
Don’t seek conflict, seek unity. But if you are reaching out to the lost, and those desiring to grow in the things of God, then discussions and learning will always be taking place.
I’ve heard people comment about how we have the same talks each year during Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc as to how to handle them and how it would be nice to not have to do that each year. My response…., you want that, because that means you have new people coming to learn about Jesus, that you are reaching out to the lost and introducing them to Jesus. After all, isn’t that what we really hope to accomplish? Reaching people to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus? It’s a growing process that we are all going through.
So embrace “conflict”, it is a learning experience for all, drawing us closer to Jesus.