High Conflict People in the Church
Identify and Manage Damaging Personalities in the Pulpit, Pews, and Office
Published by: High Conflict Institute Press
Imprint: Unhooked Books
People with high conflict personalities (HCPs) are drawn to leadership to satisfy their maladaptive personality traits and drawn to the church as parishioners and staff because they frequently move from one church or job to another, and the barrier to entry for parishioners is non-existent. HCPs in church leadership eventually damage the church, sometimes beyond repair, as their fear-based personalities are in charge and they are out of alignment with the church mission. Eventually, chaos ensues the church is stuck with a leader with a long-term contract. High conflict leadership is not sustainable long-term.
HCPs on church staff are often drawn to the position in the hope of fitting in and being accepted. Usually a different personality type from the HCP leader, the staff person causes chaos and is disappointed by the response of leadership and other staff.
HCPs in the congregation can be any personality type and can wreak havoc on the body of Christ through division that results in church splits and attrition and even more damaging impact of affairs, corruption, and other illegal activities.
Unfortunately, relying on traditional conflict resolution techniques, church leaders are unaware of the danger of HCPs in leadership positions, nor are they prepared to handle HCP staff or parishioners. Not for lack of trying—but for lack of understanding how to identify HCPs before they are hired or promoted into leadership as pastors and elders, assigned to teach classes, or hired on staff.
Getting educated about the five types of high conflict personalities that can distract from the church's purpose and potentially damage or destroy the congregation is vital. Using her expertise as high conflict personalities, Megan Hunter, MBA, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute, helps church leadership identify HCPs before it’s too late and how to handle them if they’re already in the door.