When there is a conflict between two Christians, what is the pastor's responsibility in resolving the matter?
The pastor alone does not have a responsibility to resolve conflicts; the elders or leaders of the church have the responsibility of resolving conflicts between two members of the church. If the conflict involves sin, they only have a responsibility for resolving the conflict after the principles outlined in Matthew 18:15-17 are followed. The following chart illustrates Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:15-17. For a complete explanation please read, “Should I act as though my son’s divorce is okay?”
If the conflict does not involve a sin issue, then the principles given us in 1 Cor. 6 should be followed. In this passage God gives us a principle that conflicts between Christians should be resolved by some wise person with the church.
Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? (NASB) 1 Cor. 6:1-6
Often times this is one of the leaders of the church. The issue can be brought to the leaders so that they can assign someone to resolve the conflict. The decision of the arbitrator should be binding and final.
The next two verses in 1 Cor. 6 tell us that it is better to be willing to be defrauded than to enter into a conflict.
Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. (NASB) 1 Cor. 6:7-8
Christians should seek humility and harmony rather being self-centered. This is consistent with Jesus’ messages on the Sermon on the Mount.
Suggested Links:Peace With God
Should I act as though my son's divorce is okay?
Sermon on the Mount