My purpose is to help churches resolve conflicts in a manner that engenders love, joy, and harmony and spiritual transformation. This blog post is an introduction to my services proffered specifically to churches.
Almost every denomination has some sort of adjudicatory process intended to help the local church resolve conflicts. Unfortunately, in spite of very good intentions, many adjudicatory programs fail because the adjudicatory leaders are pastors who inevitably tend to support the local minister rather than resolve the deeper issues. They frequently leave the appearance of peace at the expense of driving off many long term congregants.
As an independent neutral peacemaker, I can and do help the church root out the underlying problems in a way that leads to long term harmony and sustainable peace in the congregation.
When a conflict occurs in a church, and history has shown that almost all churches have conflict, the whole congregation is disrupted until the matter is resolved. The time and energy of the minister, board, staff and key volunteers and many congregation members are diverted from the primary mission of the church to cope with the disruption. Inevitably, donations wither and financial resources become scarce.
The sooner these problems are addressed, and the more smoothly they are resolved, the better for the entire church body. Often I can help shift a simmering conflict into a golden opportunity for transformation and re-invigoration.
Churches have unique needs that stem from their moral mission, their leadership structure and their great reliance on volunteers. The leaders become involved with their members and others on personal and emotional levels. Fundraising systems and other factors unique to churches seem to collide with moral and spiritual goals when there is conflict in the congregation.
I approach each opportunity for conflict resolution with an open mind and open heart in order to facilitate the best possible outcome. Usually, the issue first presented camouflages deeper concerns that, if not expertly resolved, can cripple the growth of a church, or even split a church into polarized factions.
No matter how intense or mild the conflict appears at the onset, I approach each client through the spiritual principle that there is opportunity within every conflict. In a similar fashion, no matter between whom the initial conflict has arisen, I believe that the optimum long-term solution is best achieved by system-wide response, and that the opportunity exists for an outcome which benefits the entire church ministry.
As an outside professional with a sensitive approach and a compassionate eye, my role is to listen carefully to all the interested parties — ministers, board members, paid staff, volunteers and congregants — to identify the level of conflict and to clarify the concerns. Then working with the leadership of the church, I tailor a conflict resolution process to the needs of the situation, being ever mindful to the bottom line and the costs of my services. I work as a neutral non-denominational (post-denominational) professional to bring about healing through mediation, caucusing, consulting, facilitated encounters and other dispute resolution tools.
I have worked with mega-churches as well as very small congregations, and have a sliding scale fee policy when appropriate.