Home News Anchors Int’l X-rays Conflict management @ one-day leaders’ confab

Anchors Int’l X-rays Conflict management @ one-day leaders’ confab

by Church Times

By Peace Odekunle

As part of its vision to bring some form of sanity to the Church, Anchor International Outreach Ministry on Saturday, May 18 organised a day-long workshop to train church leaders on how to manage conflicts in their churches.The event which was tagged, Next Generation Leaders Summit took place at the West Africa Theological Seminary in Ipaja, Lagos. It was graced by hunreds of church leaders from across Lagos and beyond.

Participants at the conference

Conflict can be managed

President of the ministry and Coordinator of Anchor Leadership Academy, Dr. Bolarinwa Omotosho, addressed the leaders at the meeting.

He underscored the importance of understanding and managing conflict across various aspects of life.

Drawing from his experience as a peace advocate, Omotoso said many of the things that lead to conflict are things that could be managed and avoided.

According to him, selfish interest is a key cause of conflict in churches and even in day-to-day life.

“Usually, people are thinking about themselves. They are looking for their interest. When such interest is not met, they take to things that are uncomely. Some take the law into their own hands. In some cases, it leads to schism. Many churches started as a result of conflicts.”

While noting that conflict is part of human life. Omotoso said, “It is impossible to run away from it. It is as old as man. It was there from the beginning. There are several records of conflicts in the Bible and the contemporary world. We can’t run away from it. The only thing we can do is handle it properly. That is why we have this one-day event.”

He emphasized that conflict takes many forms and variety based on the personalities involved.

“Every conflict is peculiar and they must be treated as such. If we understand that, we will not use a one-cure approach to many of the conflicting situations we experience in our gatherings,” he said. 

Communication

 

Pastor of First Baptist Church, Ipaja, Lagos, Rev. Dr. Michael Abodunrin who also took a session at the event shed light on how to manage conflict in homes.

He noted that communication is very important in home management

“Many homes are collapsing today because there is a lack of effective communication among spouses. The truth is that communication is not effective if the people involved don’t understand themselves.

“Communication is not just about talking. It is about getting to understand what is being said. If that factor is not there, there is no communication,” he said.

Dr Michael Abodunrin

Abodurin who was the former Chancellor of Bowen University, said an understanding of the backgrounds of spouses helps a great deal in conflict management in marriages. “Communication can also be effective if spouses understand their family backgrounds and inclinations.

“That is why it is important that before marriage, couples must know themselves very well. They must also understand their values and cultures so that when they get married, some things won’t come as strange”.

He  lamented the decline of Nigerian culture and the adoption of Western lifestyles, stating, “We are stereotyped and rigid and do not take time to enjoy our marriages.”

Bible ways of resolving conflict

Dr. Mrs. Priscilla Omotosho took the lecture further. She talked about biblical ways to resolve marriage conflicts, emphasizing love, humility, and respect as key factors.

 

She said, “When issues arise in your marriage, be careful of those you tell. The person you tell your issues determines the growth or ruin of your marriage. Who you share your experience must be people who are knowledgeable on the issue. Beyond that, we need to be sure God is leading us to them.”

Conflict carriers

 

Chaplain of Air Force, Lagos, Group Captain Rev. Okoye, spoke on understanding conflict and provided further insights into its causes and effects.

He said understanding conflict is key to navigating life’s challenges.

His words, “Life itself is conflict, and to be alive is to be in conflict. If you have come to understand the mastery of understanding humans, you have gone far beyond others.”

Okoye encouraged participants to learn how to deal with people as agents of conflict. “The first place to start is to know and acknowledge that everyone carries conflicts within them.

“In our interaction with people, that must be at the back of our minds. This will help us to navigate our relationship with people.”

He emphasised the need for leaders to understand the differences in personalities, ideologies, and backgrounds.

“These key factors will help us develop strategies to avoid or navigate conflicts effectively. The whole world will be at peace today if everybody knows that people are different in temperament, have different ideologies, and are greatly influenced by their background.”

Workshop

The event featured a workshop session where participants were divided into five groups to discuss conflict avoidance and resolution strategies.

The groups collectively agreed on the importance of accepting faults, using “magic words,” letting go of past grievances, and seeking divine guidance.

Conflict resolution

In an interview with Church Times, Dr. Omotosho highlighted the role of emotional intelligence in conflict resolution.

He mentioned various conflict management styles, including assertiveness, cooperativeness, and avoidance, stating, “Different conflict styles abound, and they vary from one individual to the other.”

Rev. Dr. Michael Adeoye who also spoke with Church Times advised embattled couples to resolve conflicts by reflecting on the beginning of their love story and seeking counsel when necessary.

He said, “If you are struggling in your marriage, sit to assess the whole issue, reminisce on how the relationship began. And in cases where this does not help, go for counseling.”

At the event the Next generation Peacebuilders’ Mentoring Network ( NEPENET) was launched and inaugurated by Lt Col (Rev) IB Mavisky the acting Commandant of the Nigeria Army chaplin training school. Before the event, Dr Omotosho was appointed the Peace Ambassador by Global Peace Chain United State of America,

 

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