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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

30 Oct '13

The courage to have a direct conversation

It takes courage to have a direct and candid conversation with someone that we have a difference with. Too often, rather than speaking directly we speak to others hoping that they will influence or set straight those we have an issue with. It does not work! Rather it creates even more misunderstanding and chaos than if we had simply sat down to dialogue with the other individual.

If I have an issue with another individual it is my responsibility to deal directly with them, or they with me. Avoidance creates more distance and asking others to deal with it for us is a lack of courage. Hoping the issue will just go away is wishful thinking. It is a Matthew 18 thing!

I spoke to a pastor today who had been dealing with a number of elders who were at odds with him. He had avoided direct discussion of the issues for a number of years hoping that he could build the bridges necessary for resolution. It did not work. When he finally addressed the individuals directly they decided that they no longer wanted to serve in church leadership and for the first time in many years he has a unified and aligned group of leaders. Everything changed, but not before he had the courage to have a direct conversation and address the real issues.

We can run from a barking dog, hide from a barking dog or walk toward a barking dog. Today I do the last! I may not get agreement or resolution (the ideal) but at least I will get clarity and have done my part to deal with the relational disconnect. What I will not do is ignore the issues, hide from them or hope someone else will solve them for me. 

Jesus was always direct. He spoke with grace and truth but he did not dodge issues that were in front of Him. Neither should we.  Is there someone you need to have a conversation with?