For congregations to be on a healthy spiritual strategic journey, it is necessary not only for the spiritual maturity of the congregation to be above average, but also for the emotional maturity of the congregation to be above average. It is necessary for the congregation to have a healthy sense of being a Christ-centered, faith-based community that communicates openly and honestly with one another. The community must be able to dialogue about difficult and complex issues without losing their collective cool.
The idea that people can disagree without being disagreeable is a difficult concept to embrace, even in the church. Healthy communication channels must be written, heard, and seen. They must be regular, with many different spokespersons. They must have feedback loops that allow people to respond to what they are hearing and thus complete the communication process.
When a church anticipates transition and change, communication must increase in intensity, and the time allocated for feedback must increase. Communication must be characterized by the words discovery, discernment, and dialogue much more than the words debate, declaration, and demand. The inevitability of some conflict existing any time transition, changes, and transformation are taking place must be accepted. But healthy processes that do not create either/or situations, but focus rather on both/and situations must predominate.