For discussion

April 27, 2011 | Feature | Number 9

1. How are conflicts in the faith community different from those in other organizations? Do you think such conflicts show a lack of a caring community? What is the most important thing we can do to reduce such conflicts?

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2. Do you think employees of Mennonite churches or institutions have higher expectations of their employers than other workers? In what situations do church employees have difficulty in getting fair treatment? Are there circumstances in which it is appropriate for an employee to sue?

3. Dean Peachey suggests that conflicts in the church are often the result of fuzzy polity. Do you agree? Does your congregation have clear guidelines about how decisions are made? Do you agree that conference ministers should not get directly involved in a congregation’s conflict?

4. Sometimes an institution or congregation needs to make difficult decisions due to financial pressures or new situations. How should church institutions deal with the need to reduce staff or replace management? Why do church boards sometimes do a bad job? How could churches and institutions do a better job of dealing fairly with employees?

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