Life is full of conflict. Good vs. Evil. Right vs. Wrong. Michigan vs. Ohio State. Conflict is a normal part of life that can't be avoided. Given that reality, you have a choice to make: What conflicts am I going to embrace, and what conflicts am I going to avoid?
Ron Edmondson has a great post on the reality of Change and Conflict and I think he helps us answer the question of what conflict to embrace, and what to avoid.
Avoiding change stifles growth.
Which eventually leads to conflict.
(Ever been a part of a declining organization…or church?)
Avoiding conflict allows tension to build.
Which in the end creates more conflict.
(Ever seen what happens when someone is silently angry with you long enough?)
When you choose not to change and you stifle growth, resentment from the people who want to contribute and who want to move your church forward grows. Quickly. People won't stick around for long at a church they believe is ignoring their gifts, desires, and willingness to contribute.
If you choose to avoid that resentment by embracing change, the people who want to maintain the status quo are going to cause you problems.
So here's the question: Do you want the conflict of your newer (probably younger) members resenting you for not embracing the future, or do you want the conflict of your long term (probably older) members being upset because of all the changes?
Only one is likely to lead to growth in the church.