Conflicts of Interest

“Conflict of interest” is an ugly phrase, but it’s time to say it, lay it on the table, and deal with it as a normal part of life. Everybody who is not a hermit manages conflicting interests all the time. Congregations’ awkwardness and silence on the subject only makes us vulnerable.
Many congregations accept practices that in other contexts we would question. For example, when the driveway needs re-topping, why deal with someone we don’t know when good old Tom of Tom’s Blacktop sits right here at the board table? We know he’ll give us a good price (don’t we?). In any case, if we suddenly quit using him, he’d be upset…

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