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INTRODUCTION: Conflict and Crises can be described as dramatic events or times of great chaos or danger. It is the presence of a difficult problem that is going through a period of anomaly. It is a period that will lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group or all of society. It produce negative changes in the human or environmental affairs, especially when they occur abruptly with little or no warning.


While conflict describes an interaction of friction and discord, resulting from diverging, insurmountable interests, crisis described the apex of a conflict, sometimes leading to a dangerous escalation.


Crises could be political, financial, marriage/family, it could be health related. A period of great danger, difficulty or confusion, when problems must be solved or important decision must be taken. Crises arises where human beings exist, because of philosophical differences, divergent goals, unmanaged or poorly managed conflict leading to breakdown in trust and loss of confidence in leadership.


In the case of the church ministry, it could be in THE HOME –between husband and wife, parents and children, between siblings (Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau), Between Church members, Vicars and PCC, Bishop and Priests, between Archdeacon and his Priests, Between Bishop and a section of the Diocese or Diocese and the community.


Jesus Christ warned His disciples about the crisis and the persecutions awaiting those who will follow Him or work for Him in Matthew 10:17-18,21-22,24,38 & 39. “"But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. "And you will be hated by all for My name s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”


The Apostles suffered persecutions and other hazards in their work of evangelism. James was beheaded, Peter was imprisoned pending execution, and Paul listed the various hazards  he went through in his ministry: Shipwrecks, arrests, persecutions, beatings, chain betrayals, etc. Ministry also brought hazards to the marriages and children of the Apostles who were married.


In the Old Testament, the ministry brought hazards to the children of Eli and Samuel because both of them were so pre-occupied with their ministration that they had no time to take care of the discipline and moral life of their children.



Many ministers today feel tired, overcommitted, embattled, and under-resourced. They’re often so focused on helping take care of others that they forget to take care of themselves.

42% of pastors have seriously considered quitting ministry—that s two out of every five pastors! They have  experience many burnout and spiritual exhaustion symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, changing sleeping patterns, spiritual doubt, and emotional withdrawal from community and family.


When pastors are in a healthy state, their family, staff, and church are better set up to thrive. But when they’re distressed, their ministry is limited and everyone around them is affected. If left unattended these problems can lead to pastor burnout.

Let s uncover the main issues pastors face today and discover how to overcome.



Leaders often feel alone and isolated, and pastors are no exception. These feelings can be caused by unattainable pastoral assignments, a lack of affirmation from church staff, conflict with church members, or a general lack of friends and peer network for support.

Dealing with loneliness begins with setting aside time that is not work-related so that we can pursue healthy activities and new friendships.  To seek out peer relationships, confidants, and mentors. Be sure your church knows and understands what their pastoral role is and is not, and avoid toxic relationships and conversations.



One of the largest problems in the church today are political and cultural differences. Pastors often feel forced to choose between picking a side or staying silent, both of which are losing options.

While there is no quick fix to this problem. I propose  that pastors should address political issues from a biblical perspective. “Rather than avoiding politics for the sake of discipleship,  we should try applying discipleship to our politics?”

By regularly teaching basic biblical principles such as loving our neighbors and taming our tongues. Pastors should provide guidance and have meaningful conversations about political and cultural issues in a way that reduces conflict and encourages unity.



The home of a Pastor should be a model in love, honesty, good behavior, generousity, cleanliness, humility, respect. The pastor, his wife and children are like a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. The Pastor and his wife should therefore be examples of chastity, their marriage without blemish, and their children should be highly disciplined. However, the ministry brings various crises that affect the home, the marriage and children of a Pastor. Some of the hazards are as follows:


  1. Transfer and Locations: A pastor and his wife should almost always be together, and like Aquila and Priscilla establish an ideal Christian home and a center of Spiritual excellence. It is true that a pastor should be ready to be sent anywhere for the work of evangelism; however the transfer or location of a priest that leads to the Pastor living far away or apart from his wife and children can create crises to the marriage and children of a pastor.


  1. A Pastor whose wife is not with him in his Parish is open to the temptation of adultery


  1. Married women or young unmarried ladies in the pastor s parish that are sent to offer to help to the pastor in the vicarage in the absence of the wife can destroy the pastor by seducing him and making him to fall.


iii.         The marriage of a Pastor may be threatened or may even lead to a break-up or divorce when the Pastor s wife on a casual visit to her husband s Parish sees several women and girls moving in and out of the vicarage and assisting the pastor in cleaning, washing or cooking or the wife discovering evidence of the Pastor s immoral acts.


  1. If Pastor s wife, due to her profession or work, lives apart from her husband she is also open to the temptation of adultery.


  1. The children of a Pastor also suffer as a result of transfer or locations of a Pastor that cause the family to live apart. The children miss the fatherly care and discipline of the Pastor. If the children and their mother move to a new location with the pastor, sometimes the children s education may be disrupted. They may have to repeat some classes or find it difficult to adjust quickly to a new environment. The Pastor s wife too who follows her husband to a new location may either have to stop working or experience a delay in obtaining employment in the new location. The Pastor s wife may have to choose between losing her husband by staying away from him or losing her job by following him on each transfer.


  1. Another hazard in transfers and locations is the change in economic situation of a Pastor and his family as they get to each new location. Churches are varied in their strengths, generosity and financial capacity. The vicarages are of various sizes. Where a pastor and his family who have enjoyed the comfort of cars or vehicles in a church move to another church without such facilities, it may create some problems of prestige or status. Moreover, as the pastor and his family move on transfers, a lot of their property may either have to be given away outside a vicarage that may not be big enough to contain their property.


vii.   The crisis brought by the transfer is suffered not only by a married pastor but also a Bachelor-Pastor. A bachelor Pastor may dump his fiancée of long association on getting to a new location due to the influence of the young unmarried ladies in his new Parish who are also looking for husbands.


viii.     There can also be occasion of scandals caused by a bachelor- Pastor by his acts of immorality with married or plans of marriage with his fiancée.



  1. Arrogance ‐ some pastors are not humble enough to accommodate his members individual differences, their diversity and low capacities. Such will not listen or take advice. He feels superior in every situation and encounter. Living and acting above the people. He will have problems with the youths, women, PCC, majority of his members.
  2. Spirituality: spiritual/worship life of the Pastor if not relevant to the liturgy or does not bring growth can generate conflict and Crises between the pastor and the Church members. This can be as a result of lack of ministerial training in responsible Theological institutions. Lack of adequate knowledge of relevant subjects. People now copy other doctrines that he does not understand, just because it brings money. The diehard Anglican members may not take it lightly. A pastor not spiritually sound,his church will be deserted ,this will definitely affect his ability to fulfil some obligations.

iii. Lack of adequate knowledge of THE WORD: When members are not being led to Christ by your ministration or you are copy and paste preacher. If you're not a teacher. If you are not an evangelist, a Missionary, a mentor,a counsellor, a pace setter. When you live or act below Christian expectations.

  1. Family life: if you are not showing a good examples of a Christian home. Some members may not want to associate with unloving home. No matter how eloquent a pastor is in preaching ideal home, they want it to start from you.
  2. Crises with the Church: The Church is a congregations of many diversity with different race, cultural differences, knowledge, abilities and understanding. If the administrators of the church failed to manage this, may result to crisis. We must therefore, understand the needs of the moments. If you are not computer literate, you may misunderstand the enlighten section of the congregation. Wrong use of language, offensive attitude by the pastor or wife. Inability to listen to views of others,lack understanding of the attitudes of members. When a Pastor is too official or too authoritative. Inpatient, lack of courage, indecency in appearance, wasteful, lieing, leave above means, laziness, too worldly and carnal, lack of integrity, no focus or vision or goal.



  1. The stipend a Pastor earns may be far from being sufficient to maintain him and his immediate and extended family.
  2. The financial crisis is worse if a Pastor has many children. The children may be sent away from school for non-payment of school fees or not having necessary books or materials. The wife and the children may also not have adequate and reasonable dresses.
  • This financial crises make a pastor behave like a beggar with members of the congregation or dilute or compromise his message to suit the wealthy in order to receive some financial benefit or assistance from them.
  1. Where a pastor is not very strong spiritually, the financial hazard may tempt him to collude with the wardens to mismanage or embezzle the Church money or resort to any other financial malpractice. This is one of the easiest way to start crises in the Church.



  1. Due to the daily crowded programme of the Pastor, he may have no time to attend to his health until disaster strikes and he ends up in the hospital bed. This will affect the Pastor s finances and his health and consequently his marriage and family.
  2. A pastor who remains faithful to the Gospel and to his ministry will suffer insults, persecutions and in some cases physical attacks from members of the congregation. Spiritual attacks are also not ruled out from some devilish members who may be hurt or annoyed with the preaching or stand of the Pastor on certain issues like adultery, fornication, immorality, cultism, and any other vices. These attacks may lead to death or serious bodily harm which definitely will affect the wife and children of the Pastor.
  • There is a crisis of the ministry when a Pastor is sent to make peace in places of riot or disturbance or civil war. Many Pastors had lost their lives in such missions with the attendant agony for the pastor s wives and children.



One of the greatest crises of the ministry to the pastor, his wife, and children is what happens at retirement: the questions are “to where do you retire?” “on what do you retire?” The Pastor in all his working life, may not be able to save anything from his stipend to build a personal house to where he can retire with his wife and children. The education of his children, and perhaps also members of the extended family, the daily maintenance or sustenance of the family and other expenses on his meager stipend will definitely make him almost penniless.

Moreover, the pension to which he may be entitled after about 30-40 years in the ministry may not amount to much to support him and his wife.



Another crisis of the ministry to the marriage and children is WIDOWHOOD.

  1. In the event of the death of the Pastor caused by nature or accident or any other disaster while still in the ministry, problems immediately arise for the widow and the children left behind. The wife and the children of the pastor may become homeless since the family may not have succeeded in having their own house. Moreover, even if the wife is working, she will still have great financial difficulty in maintaining herself and the children and in paying for their education.
  2. In the event of death of the wife of the Pastor while still in the ministry, the Widower-Pastor and the children face some crisis perhaps especially if the children are young. Since a pastor s wife is a key factor in the ministry of her husband, the Widower-pastor may have to decide whether to remarry or not. How will the children take the news that their father is going to remarry? What problems or risks will the pastor s new wife pose to the children? Will the pastor Himself have a peace of mind in the home? If he does not remarry, how does he cope with the children and his heavy pastoral responsibility?



  1. As much as possible it is better to prevent crises than to manage it.
  2. 26:17-22, Isaac prevented crises. Three times he and his men dug new wells when the first two disputes arose, Isaac moved on. Finally, there was enough room for everyone. Rather than start a huge conflict, Isaac compromised for the sake of peace. Is it good to forsake an important position or valuable possession to keep peace? Can we find examples in the Church of Nigeria? It is good to ask for divine wisdom to know when to claim rights and when to withdraw.
  3. Learn to talk before you fight. Dialogue can prevent crisis. Jephthah – Judges 11:1-12,7
  4. Pastors/Church Minister should be initiators/a peace maker. Abraham took the initiative to settle a dispute. He gave Lot the first choice even when he was older than Lot and he had the right to choose first. Abraham also showed a willingness to risk being cheated.

His example show how to respond to difficult family crisis situation and crisis between Vicar & curates, Archdeacons and other priests, priest and members of the church. Family peace and peace among brothers should be above personal desires.

  1. A minister should be peace maker. “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt 5:9). He should analyze a crisis, identify the people involved and the issue involved.
  2. A Minister should commit crises to God in prayer. In Matthew 18:15-20, “

"15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.

 16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'

 17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

 18 "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

 19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

 Jesus gave some guidelines for dealing with (crisis) those who sin against us. The guidelines are for Christians and not for unbelievers. The guidelines are for crisis management in the Church and for Christians, the Church is the final court of appeal. Binding and loosing in Matt. 18:18 refer to the decision of the Church on a crisis. Handling crisis God s way has an impact on the Church now and in eternity.

  1. II Corinthians 7:9, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.” II Cor. 10:2 “But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.” will help a leader minister to manage crisis:
  2. Be firm and bold. II Cor.7:9,10:2
  3. Affirm all that is good in a matter. II Cor.7:4 “Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
  4. Be accurate and honest. II Cor.7:14,8:21
  5. A pastor should know all the facts. II Cor.11:22-27
  6. A Pastor should be gentle after being firm. II Cor.7:15,13:1-13
  7. A pastor should use discipline when other methods fail. II Cor.13:2 “I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare--” Sometimes rebuke is necessary but rebuke is to discipline not to hurt.
  8. As much as possible, Christians should not take their disagreements to Law Court for settlement.,

1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!  (1 Cor.6:1-6)

(1 Cor. 6-8). For Christians, the Church is the final Court of Appeal (By Church, I mean the leadership of the Church).

 Note that:

  1. If the judge in the secular court is not a Christian, he is not likely to be sensitive to your Christian principles and values.
  2. The basis for going to court is often revenge which is not a Christian value.
  3. Law suits make the Church look bad, causing unbelievers to focus on the problems rather than on its purpose.
  4. A minister should recognize his contribution to the crisis (if any) and first remove the log in his own eyes in a way that can honour God, he may be blind to his own contribution to the crisis. Matt 7:5. An expert in conflict resolution says; “A common mistake we often make it or try and fix the conflict without fixing the relationship first. The second mistake is simply believing that if we sit down in a circle and all have their say, we can work it out. Sometimes informal meetings can be very painful and very hurtful for people if they are not well facilitated.
  5. In managing crisis, we should consider James 4:7-12.

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

According to him, selfishness is the cause of every crisis and to resolve the crisis, you should

  1. Judge your selfish motives (v.1-3)
  2. Turn away from all physical and spiritual adultery and humbly entreat God s grace (James 4:4-6)
  3. Submit to God, resist the devil and repent of all sins (James 4:7-10)
  4. Stop judging others and submit to God. James 4:11-12)


  1. In managing crisis, Pastors must recognize that they are leaders and must work as leaders of God s people in managing crisis.


  1. Godly Church leaders are responsible to lead God s people. The New Testament makes a distinction between leaders and followers in the Church. Many names and titles are used for leaders:
  2. Elders – Acts 20:17 – maturity in faith
  3. Overseers – 1 Timothy 3:1-2, refers to function of superintending the Church
  4. Pastors – Eph.4:11 i.e. Shepherds – the flock of God. In 1 Peter 5:1-2, pastors, should shepherd the flock of God, exercising oversight but Christ is the Chief Shepherd.

Church leaders are also called (Prohistemi) i.e. to stand before i.e. to have charge over” (1 Thess. 5:12-13). It means to rule over  (1 Timo.5:17) It also refers to a man s responsibility to manage his own household. 1 Tim. 3:4,5,12.

  In Heb.13:7,17,24 “hegemony” is used by Paul to distinguish him from Barnabas. Acts 4:12, as Chief speaker, leaders should lead and not be led, even in managing crisis. Leadership is primarily influences and the way to lead is by examples. Most of the qualifications for Church leaders in 1 Tim.3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 are godly characters and qualities which require dealing with problems that may arise in the Church before they become crisis.


  1. Pastors are required to walk personally with God. Paul exhorts Timothy his younger co-worker to pay attention to himself and to his teaching. 1 Tim.4:16 and Acts 20:28 he told the Ephesians elders “be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock.” Four aspects of the personal walk of Church leaders should be noted:


  1. Maintain a good conscience before God and others. Compare Acts 24:16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” The conscience is that inner sense of right and wrong that God has out in every human heart. Church leaders must have clear conscience before God and in all things i.e. to walk in daily obedience to God s word.


  1. Church leaders must live with a view to answering to God. (including management of crisis that may arise) “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16) and to give an account of their own lives and for the Church over which they are overseers. All Church ministers are under shepherds accountable to Jesus, the Chief Shepherd. It is His Church, not the Bishop s Church. There should not be an abuse of authority or any form of taking advantage of the people for gain. (Ezekiel 34).


  1. Church leaders should be men of faith and prayers – and encourage others to pray. Hebrews 13:7,18,20-21. The Church should be led by the ministers to move forward by faith and prayers in spite of crisis. The Church is not a business enterprise which thinks of profit and loss alone. Our aim as church leaders is not to lead  by collective wisdom but by  dependence on God through our prayers. How many  times have you called people to pray over a looming crisis for the will of God to prevail?


  1. Pastors as Church leaders should be willing to suffer for Christ (if need be) II Timothy 1:8 – Paul advised Timothy “therefore be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or me his prisoner but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.” Leaders are always the targets for the enemy during crisis. They must be  ready to suffer for Christ – God s truth will always offend someone and the leader who delivered the message may be attacked.

  1. Church leaders should work together. Acts 14:23, 20:17 The leadership in the local church should be in the plural “and when they had ordained them, elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord on whom they believed.” Leaders in local church should keep watch over souls and this could be effectively done by working together as a team (e.g in the city of Ibadan, Portharcourt, Lagos, etc where there are more than one Bishop) by virtue of Ordination or appointment, there should be first  among equals. Peter was the spokesmen for the twelve, James was an important leader in the early Church, Acts 15:13-21, Acts 21:18-26. Paul became the leader of the  1st Missionary Team but all these men submitted to one another in the Lord. We must do the same today. The Bible says “Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21).


  1. Church leaders must put a priority on godly relationship. The writer of letter to the Hebrews encouraged them to work together with their leaders (Bishops) harmoniously so that they may lead with joy. (Heb.13:17) “That they do it with joy not with grief.”


The Decalogue is summed up as love to God and love to man. Priests/Deacons ought to relate together in love and to work together to help members relate together in love too. Paul wrote to the Philippians that two women should work together: Euochia and Syntyche to “live in harmony in the Lord” (Phil.4:2). He was also concerned for the Church at Corinth because of  Chloe s people had told him of the quarrels taking place there. “For it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among you” (1 Cor.1:11). Wherever there are people of different background, ages and different understanding of the Christian faith, there will be crisis but the leaders must stand out to lead and be examples of godly relationship.


  1. Ministers should help members of the Church
  2. By keeping watch over their souls “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb.13:17) i.e. to keep oneself awake, to keep watch, and to guard. Pastors as shepherd should stay alert to guard the flock and know the sheep enough to know when the sheep is sick and lead them to greener pasture. While they should lead those who are willing to be led, they must also make effort to lead the stubborn sheep. Ministers should do their best to keep their flock together.


  1. By faithfully teaching them the word of God (Heb.13:7,22) V.7- leaders should speak the word of God to the people during crisis, while v.22 mentioned the writer s brief word of admonition. This is highly rewarding during crisis.

  1. By aiming at the members’ joy and spiritual profit. “Obey them that have to rule over you, and submit yourselves…that they may do it with joy and not with grief for that is profitable for you.” (Heb.13:!7)


  1. By emphasizing God s grace rather than Law. Heb.13:25. “Grace be with you.” – this is more than salutation. The writer encourages the Hebrews to draw near to the throne of grace and receive mercy and grace in time of need. i.e. Grace to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in a time of crisis. God s grace embraces even the  weak and encourages  them to grow in the Lord, “for the grace of God that bringeth  salvation, hath appeared  - to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.” Titus 2:11-12



Crises will surely arise when and where people interact and worship together. It is therefore, not unusual, that there are crises in many Dioceses and Parishes, but crisis should not linger on for too long. The Bishop, should be the final court of appeal and where Bishops are involved, the primate should be the final arbiter. I humbly submit that Church matters should no longer be taken to civil courts (if possible) and where some are already in civil courts, they should be withdrawn, the Province or the National Church should settle them to the glory of God.





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