, who will assume the presidency of the association in July, described terminations as "one of the most serious difficulties [in Southern Baptist life].
If a church is in conflict, it's not going to grow.
"And it sends a negative message to the community.
It's hard for a church to be in conflict and for the community not to know about it," said Keene, a consultant in church-minister relations for the Georgia Baptist Convention.
is concerned over the continuing presence of sexual misconduct, which ranked in the top 10 for the first time in 2005 and maintained its ninth-place standing in 2006.
That takes in everything from inappropriate relationships with a member of the opposite sex to accessing pornography sites on the Internet, Keene said.
"That's a growing concern," Keene
said of pastors visiting porn sites.
"Those incidents would be at a higher rate than relationships with another person."
In churches experiencing conflict, Keene
noted, problems typically revolve around a discontented minority.
The majority of people in a church usually want problems resolved and are not drawing lines into a "winner versus loser" category, he
"Most people in a church are good, godly people who want Christ to be honored," Keene
"Our success rate is pretty high," Keene