Document Type


Publication Date



College of Behavioral and Social Sciences


Department of Psychology


The choice of music, an essential element of worship and church life, must be addressed in cross-cultural church planting contexts. As cultures evolve, church planters are faced with choices about musical styles that may lead to interpersonal conflicts within the church. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine factors that may enable cross-cultural church planters to constructively manage music-related conflicts when they arise. Members of church plants, like all people, have various goals when entering into such conflicts. They are concerned about the content of the conflict (i.e., the musical style) and thus have content goals. They are also concerned about social elements of the conflict (e.g., their relationships, their identity and values, and the process used to resolve the conflict) and thus have social goals. The results of this study of 276 evangelical Christians indicate that achieving both content goals and social goals contributes to overall satisfaction across various conflict outcomes. Moreover, the evidence indicates that achieving only a social goal leads to greater satisfaction with the conflict outcome than achieving only the content goal in music related conflict. This implies that church planters, when faced with music-related conflict, should strive to meet the gospel-congruent social goals of people with whom they are in conflict in order to maximize satisfaction with the conflict outcome.