Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Flat Tire

Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
What one thing is most likely to cause a leader to lose sleep? CONFLICTS
Some of the inevitable things in life are
  • Death
  • Taxes
  • And conflicts
Jesus told us, “offences must come.”
  • Conflicts tend to bring out the worst in us.
More resignations are over conflict than for any other reason.
  • Every month 1300 pastors in the USA are forced to resign or fired.
  • Nearly 30% of all ministers have been terminated at least once.
  • In ten years 40% of today’s ministers will be in another line of work.
  • 70% of ministers say that they have no close friends.
  • The divorce rate for USA pastors is up at least 65% in the last twenty-five years.
  • 80% of all ministers day that their work has a negative impact at home.
  • On any day of the week in 75% of all churches, ministry will be greatly reduced because of unprofitable conflict.
  • The conflict is so destructive in 20% of these that the conflict must be reduced before they can accomplish anything productive.
  • The average pastor spends 20% of his time dealing with church conflicts.
As you can see - conflicts can cause major issues not only in the lives of ministers but in the lives of every believer. The key is knowing how to deal with the conflicts when they arise.
Here's an example of a conflict compared to a flat tire:
#1 The Fix The Flat StageWe all have problems that need fixing.
  • The first thing we must do is ACKNOWLEDGE there is a problem.
  • There will always be differences of opinion of how we should fix the problem.
  • We must make a commitment to solving the problem with a positive attitude.
  • Honest communication spoken in love will help the situation.
  • If the problem isn’t solved at this stage…it will advance to the next stage:
#2 The Kick The Tire StageThe emphasis has now shifted from fixing the problem to blaming someone for the problem.
  • Everyone tries to protect themselves.
  • Communication becomes cautious and not clear because the trust level is low.
  • We become defensive of our position
  • When this happens it is now much harder to solve the problem and usually the conflict advances to the next stage:
#3 The Run The Tire On The Rim StageWe have now lost the focus of fixing the problem and the emphasis has shifted to WINNING the argument.
  • Sides are taken.
  • We become convinced that our position is the only one which is right.
  • Communication becomes exaggerated and distorted.
  • It is now impossible to solve the problem without repentance and starting over with the earliest stage.
#4 The Shoot The Driver StageWe no longer care about the problem. All we want is to get rid of those trouble-makers.
  • Divorce has become our goal.
  • People become divided into different camps…and each camp has its own leader, banner and battle cry.
  • Trust has been destroyed and we are no longer satisfied with just getting our own way.
  • Now what we want is to get rid of the driver.
#5 The Run The Car Off The Cliff StageWe are not satisfied with a divorce. We now want to make somebody PAY.
  • We are full of vengeance and believe we are acting to defend God’s position.
  • We believe it would be immoral for us to stop fighting God’s cause and the conflict goes completely out-of-bounds.
  • We tell anyone who will listen about those terrible people and try to ruin any influence they may have with others.