A new research poll from the Barna Group shows that Christians are most influenced by family members when it comes to resolving conflicts.
According to the Barna Group and The Genius of One poll, about 57 percent of Christians said their family members have the "strongest influence" on how they've learned to resolve conflicts.
Other influences include the Bible (39 percent), friends (37 percent), pastors and church leaders (24 percent).
"It may feel like unity is a hard thing to come by, even among Christians. This article explores recent data on both Christians' and pastors' perspectives of the subject," the study says.
According to The Christian Post, the survey included more than 1,200 Christian respondents and about 400 pastors.
Among pastors, half said they approach resolving conflict with a "collaborative mindset." In comparison, 37 percent of Christians said they would rather avoid or prevent conflict.
"While the majority of both pastors and Christians seem at least somewhat comfortable taking initial steps to resolve conflict in most settings, there are still a number of contexts in which both groups could be coached and encouraged to seek peace," the authors wrote in an analysis of the data.
Pastors in the poll said they were most confident resolving conflicts in their own homes, churches, and among friends, but they reported they were "less comfortable" with conflict resolution with superiors, neighbors and the local community.
"Christians, in general, are more often learning about conflict resolution from sources closer to them, such as family and friends," the study added.
"This [study] highlights an opportunity for pastors to grow in their influence around important topics such as conflict resolution, unity, forgiveness and more to help Christians approach community," reads an analysis of the Barna study.
"There is still some room to grow" in the area, the study said, adding that "nearly nine in 10 Christians at least somewhat agree that their church equips them to participate in community in a healthy way."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vadym Pastukh
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.