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Managing Volunteer Conflict in Churches

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Do church volunteers ever experience conflict? Of course they do. Conflict is unavoidable and, when handled in a healthy way, can even result in benefits. Identifying strategies for building unity and minimizing unhealthy conflict among church volunteers are crucial steps in a ministry’s success.

In his doctoral dissertation, Shan Caldwell explored whether applying the recognized secular principles of conflict management and volunteer management would succeed in dealing with disputes among church volunteers. In this feature article, Caldwell shares a set of simple concepts with implications for any faith-based organization. By putting these concepts into action, Caldwell examines how the possibility for healthy, productive, and successful volunteer teams in any setting grows exponentially.