How to confront difficult members

How to confront difficult members

Confrontation-The word itself can send chills up and down your spine, especially if you've seen, heard, or felt the sting of an unhealthy conflict. Confrontation at times is necessary within your group-yet it needn't be destructive.
Below are four questions to ask yourself before you confront someone:

Question One: Are you convinced that your desire to confront someone is not just to "get something off your chest"? The purpose of every act of confrontation should be to lovingly restore a brother or sister. Take time to meditate, pray, and cleanse your heart of impure motives.

Question Two: Have you dealt with your own feelings and preconceived attitudes about the person you want to confront? Read Galatians 6:1-2, and ask yourself if you are spiritually prepared to confront. Read Matthew 5:9. Are you taking responsibility for a peaceful end to this conflict?

Question Three: Could some constructive action on your part ease the tension in your relationship with this other person? Read Romans 12:18. Have you done everything you can to be at peace with him or her?

Question Four: Have you taken adequate time to allow for self-examination objectivity and accept valued input of another to prevent impulsive confrontation? Read 1 Timothy 5:19.

If confrontation is still required after you've considered these four questions, then read 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and remember these do's and don'ts:

Don't: attack, defend, or raise your voice.

Do: be gentle and firm, establish eye contact, give two positives for every negative, and listen.

Most important, make your opening sentence an "I" statement, (e.g., "I was hurt by your comment the other day and I'd like to tell you why.") The first few seconds of a confrontational conversation can set the tone for the entire dialogue. Learn to handle conflict constructively and creatively. It will draw your group together as you learn that even imperfect children of God can live in peace - and you will live to tell about it.

Idea adapted from The Small Group Letter, by The Navigators © 1984. All right reserved.