People in conversation

Beyond “them” and “us” in the church: The power of dialogue


This article was originally published by the Pastoral Excellence Network. EP Senior Associate Robert R. Stains, Jr, MEd, writes:

“The dynamics of division in the religious community often show the hallmarks of other types of conflicts involving identity, values, and worldviews. Congregations, like families and other groups, often develop habitual, ritualized responses to perceived threats. People draw distinctions between ‘them’ and ‘us,’ gather support from their like-minded sisters and brothers, and talk less with those with whom they disagree.”


Robert R. Stains, Jr, MEd