Which area has brought the most or deepest conflict/disharmony to your church or ministry?

Moral behavior of leaders OR members
9% (2 votes)
Doctrinal issues
5% (1 vote)
Music or worship
14% (3 votes)
Personality issues
18% (4 votes)
Financial decisions/land/building purchase, remodeling
5% (1 vote)
27% (6 votes)
Change of leadership
5% (1 vote)
Community change
5% (1 vote)
Church building relocation
0% (0 votes)
Several of the above
14% (3 votes)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 22
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There are 5 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

This observation does not need to be about the current church you attend or minister at, but can be from your past.

I think we want to see if there is a patter we can discern about the nature of contemporary church conflicts.

Sometimes it can be hard to peg. For example, a conflict over worship may be theological (ecclessiology and what we are to do in church), a personality issue, or related to change in personnel.

A building relocation or project might be connected to certain personalities who oppose change, for example.

So, what are your observations? You obviously do not want to disclose particulars, so feel free to vote and share as much or little as you deem appropriate.

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture


... by a large margin
(Not our current church though. We've hardly had enough conflict to blame on anything.)

In previous churches, there was often a misalignment between leadership models.... the pastor having one model in view and the deacons/board having another. Then the congregation being all over the place in between.

christian cerna's picture

I think the biggest issue in any large group setting is personality conflicts. In Churches there are almost always differing ideas as to what the role/goals of the Church are, and how it should be accomplishing those things.

And of course, there are always the people that love to criticize/give advice about how they think things should be done. But usually the people that are most opinionated, are the very ones who do the least amount of work in the Church. Everyone wants to lead, but very few want to follow.

It is also discouraging when there is no problem getting people together for a 'fun' activity. But when it comes to getting people to attend a small group bible study, or prayer meeting, or something serious- then suddenly everyone has made other plans already.

Aaron Blumer's picture


One of the surprises of ministry in my setting is that the common phenomenon (so I hear) of too many who want to lead and too few who want to follow is inverted. In general, very few want to be in charge of anything. This may be more of a small church problem than a medium or large church problem. (Seems like during our suburban church days, there was never a shortage of folks who wanted to run things... but there was still a problem of finding folks with the right qualities to do that)

Pastork's picture

I can't say I'm all that surprised that gossip seems to be the leading problem here. In over 20 years of ministry, the majority of that time in the same church, I have run into most of the issues listed in this survey, but the top two have been moral problems with leaders and gossip. But gossip was usually also a part of the moral problems with leaders.