Resolving Conflicts between Member Churches of Baptist Associations in Valrico, Florida

Jesus said that we must first go in private when resolving conflicts, and this is the most effective step to take. This principle has the potential to prevent other steps from being necessary. If people followed this order, two-thirds of the conflicts in churches could be avoided. Jesus also advocates an escalation process that includes more people only if the conflict persists.

This means that church leaders should be involved if formal church discipline is needed. Ken Sande, an engineer, lawyer and mediator with 38 years of experience, has seen how a gospel-based approach works in seemingly impossible situations, including those involving divided church councils. To properly address church conflicts, it is essential to identify the real problem. The surface issue is rarely the actual problem.

For example, a desire for a service position may mask personal pride, requests for leadership multiplication can hide personality conflicts and concerns about “cultural engagement” may conceal personal preferences. Paul went to the heart of the problems of Corinth and revealed a spiritual problem. Asking hard questions and getting to the core of the matter is key. Ken Sande also notes that the lack of pacification structures before a conflict is the most common issue his organization faces when mediating church disputes.

The Committee will consider nominating individuals who reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of Baptist churches in Florida. An annual report of all income and expenses must be audited and published in the Florida Baptist Annual. The Board member's church must cooperate with the Florida Baptist State Convention and make a consistent financial contribution to missions through the Cooperative Program. The executive director and treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention will determine how many nominees are needed, in consultation with the president of Florida Baptist Children's Homes, Inc.

The State Mission Board will have authority to approve permanent loans requested by a cooperating ministry of the State Convention or the Florida Baptist Convention, Inc. When possible, these reserve funds should be held at the Florida Baptist Foundation, a division of Florida Baptist Financial Services, Inc. The State Missions Board may convene special meetings of the State Convention as provided in Article 11 of the Constitution of the Florida Baptist State Convention and its Bylaws. No more than six elected members of the Board can come from churches affiliated with the Florida Baptist State Convention as a Church in general, and no more than two representatives from any of the six ministerial regions.

Through cooperation between individual Baptists and Southern Baptist churches, funds are solicited, obtained, divided and distributed by cooperating local churches, the State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. The State Mission Board will recommend all ministerial budgets not related to programs to the State Convention, which will include all expenses of the Florida Baptist Convention, Inc. The expenses of all standing committees must be allocated from this budget and maintained according to policies set by both organizations. The year following approval by the State Convention, newly organized or reorganized associations may become members of the Nominating Committee and have one member nominated to serve on the State Mission Board.

The Florida Baptist State Convention assigns authority to investigate allegations of deviation from biblical theology and practice as defined by Southern Baptists to make a final recommendation regarding membership status for churches or associations.