Jesus modeled the perfect balance of grace and truth—He was accepting of everyone without approving of everything. We often find ourselves pulled between the extremes of isolationism and intolerance or universalism and approval, but the Kingdom of God should be a place where people can find acceptance while being challenged to live differently in light of the grace of Jesus.
Being connected to one another isn't simply a nice way to live or a built-in support structure in case of difficulty. Connection to the faith community is one of the key aspects of our spiritual formation journey. We are always being formed—intentionally or unintentionally. Connection takes many forms, but is a vital aspect of the transformation process.
Conflict is something that most people tend to avoid. However, conflict is a fact of life. Many have made the point that conflict, even within the Church, is a sign of life; evidence of the fact that people really care. Avoiding confrontation is often a recipe for even greater conflict and pain. Therefore, the important question we need to ask is: how do we manage conflict appropriately within the fellowship of the church.