Whether you are a pastor, church leader, or denominational official, you may not be sure how to proceed or where to turn when your church (or churches) are in conflict. Crossroads Resolution Group helps you faithfully address threats to the viability and effectiveness of your ministry.
The leadership and key participants provide information concerning the challenges being faced by the church. Our church consultant conducts consultation conference calls to ensure a thorough understanding of the issues, including who is involved and how it is impacting the congregation and community. He/she surveys the significant individuals involved; discovers if the issues have become leadership-based issues; and determines how the congregation is involved.
The consultant completes an assessment of the situation and provides a description of that assessment verbally. The consultant answers questions to clarify the assessment, and then provides an Action Plan, including a proposal for on-site work, if desired.
Our conflict assistance follows the Assessment, noted above. The assistance is designed for the unique needs of each church, but follows a general order and approach. With the exception of initial interviews and some preparation, the service is provided in-person and on-site. We work with the church or ministry leadership, staff, or members, determined by the nature of the situation or conflict, at your church(es) or ministry location.
We provide a holistically designed process that may include introductory teaching of the biblical principles guiding our work and the resolution of the conflicts, in-depth coaching interviews with the individuals involved, and assistance in mediating small- and large-group disagreements (conflicts). We also help plan and assist in reporting results to the larger membership, if appropriate, and the creation of a long-term plan for future growth and the creation of a culture of peace.
On-going Assistance and Check-ups
We provide long-term check-ups and consultation to help you incorporate the investment of the on-site assessment into a long-term plan and growth.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Consulting & Leadership Coaching
Beyond conciliation services, CRG offers Consulting Services for congregations and church leaders (Elders, Church Councils, Pastoral Leadership Teams, etc.). The two main consulting services we offer congregations are Church Health Consulting and evaluation of the need for Equipping/Training. For Church Leadership Teams the number of consulting situations increases.
Church Health Consulting
Church leaders, pastors, elders, and ministry team leaders all face daily challenges in leading individuals well. This involves knowing how to navigate the relationships between team members and addressing the differences that naturally exist within all leadership teams. Our conciliators, as Certified Christian Conciliators™ and Certified Relational Wisdom Conciliators™ provide ongoing coaching by phone, video conference, and in person to help leaders be as effective as possible in their ministry of sharing the Gospel. We provide a Church Health survey and recommendations, which serves as the basis for leadership and pastoral coaching, leadership equipping, as well as equipping the church to address conflicts within their congregation in a biblically faithful manner. For the congregation, the review and recommendations typically fall into 3 broad categories:
Communication System Design & Implementation
Culture-of-Peace Strategy & Development
Church Health, including Discovering God’s Will Congregationally.
We also provide denominations or associations with consulting services related to Church Health, including how to become fully equipped to deliver conflict assistance services with its own staff and trained volunteers, under the guidance and mentoring of our experienced Certified Christian Conciliator™ Team Lead.
Equipping & Training Programs
We want to do more than resolve current conflicts. That’s why we seek to equip the church with long-term conflict management skills that are consistent with biblical principles. Our training sessions combine Relational Wisdom 360 materials with our peacemaking experience, knowledge, and skills. Programs are offered in a variety of formats including custom equipping sessions, seminars, workshops, retreats, and ongoing coaching.
Whether a church is presently experiencing a season of peace and harmony, is in the midst of unresolved issues/conflicts, or is somewhere in between, questions that leadership teams must answer abound. Consulting is necessary when a leadership team or congregation is having difficulty finding a “unified answer” to a question or simply lacks the expertise to find a clear path forward.
CRG, applying its years of experience, provides consulting services in a variety of areas. Custom consulting concentrates on one specific area of focus. These areas typically include the following topics for Leadership and Governance:
Pastoral Transitions, Including Severance Development
Operational Design and Function, including Pastor/Elder Relationship
Employment and Leadership Contracts, Including Conciliation Clauses
Governing System Evaluation and Development
Governing Document Review and Re-design
Structure Design and Decision-Making Process
Church leaders have a huge job, being responsible for the oversight, shepherding, and guidance of the congregation. Without a healthy leadership culture, these responsibilities are limited, if not defeated. Effective leadership requires both a number of leaders and a variety of leadership skills.
One ongoing challenge for today’s church leader is the learning and implementation of an effective leadership skill set. Seminars, Bible schools, training events, and books are some ways to stay current. However, leadership coaching is indispensable.
Leadership coaching comes in many forms, from general, such as a Life Coach, to specific, such as a preaching coach. Coaching is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Throughout all our phases of work we evaluate the need for coaching. We believe that leadership-coaching is essentially important for ongoing skill and expertise development as well as developing a leadership culture modeled after Jesus’ leadership style.
Said another way, leaders who do not have coaches are missing the encouragement and challenge to stay sharp!
CRG’s Coaching Services
Coaching with Conflict Situations (when mediation services are not provided) – Personally – Interpersonally – Within a leadership team – Within a congregation
Communication Coaching – Electronic – Personal – Relational/Congregational
Other Coaching Options – Relational Wisdom Coaching (applying Relational Wisdom 360 principles) – Pastoral Coaching – Elder Coaching – Developing a Leadership Culture following Jesus model of leadership
Pastors hold a pivotal and unique position in our churches and communities and face unique challenges. Pastors must manage issues of doctrinal and personality differences and build relationships with the leadership of the church. A Pastoral Intensive is a unique program designed to meet the needs of pastors and their families.
Pastoral Intensives always involve the pastor and his wife and are designed to help determine if the pastor is achieving the relational, emotional, and spiritual health necessary to be effective in his pastoral role. The Intensive is designed to develop a plan for achieving these objectives. Pastoral Intensives provide biblical counsel and conciliation. Pastors and their wives gain insight into their situations with highly experienced and skilled conciliators in sessions which provide a safe and respectful environment.
The ultimate goal of biblical counsel is to help others grow in faith, knowledge, and love for Jesus Christ as He increasingly transforms them into His likeness.
There are times where a church has specific, narrowly defined issues it needs assistance to resolve. These often arise in the areas of employment contracts, legal claims against the church or its leaders or employees, or similar disputes. Our assistance in these matters incorporates the same biblical and relational focus of our Church Assistance, but follows a process set forth in The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation. These services are provided in a mediation process and, if necessary, an arbitration process to bring reconciliation of relationships as well as resolution of substantive issues to preserve the peace and unity of the body.
We provide facilitated conversations between individuals or groups to address unresolved conflicts to resolve substantive issues and to seek the reconciliation of relationships which have been strained or damaged by the dispute. The process follows The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation. The mediation starts with individual interviews to identify the issues and parties involved, along with the respective views of each person, followed by preparation of the parties for the mediation with coaching and guidance on following biblical principles in the mediation. The mediation is in person, with the participation of all involved individuals and advisors or spiritual leaders where the individuals request and agree to the same.
We can help the church seek resolution of substantive issues, in a legally binding process that seeks to protect the relationships of the parties. We also provide a process to help the elders of a church address issues that are solely within the jurisdiction of the church (see below) while reserving the church’s jurisdiction to decide the issues. The arbitration process follows the arbitration rules within The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation.
What Arbitration Can and Cannot Do
Arbitration may be used to resolve a broad range of issues. However, arbitration may not be used to resolve all legal issues including:
Issues that are solely within the jurisdiction of the family (e.g., how to teach or discipline children)
Issues that are solely within the jurisdiction of the church (e.g., determining doctrine, calling or dismissing a pastor, or exercising church discipline).
What’s the difference between Mediation and Arbitration? Learn that and more in our Common Terms section.
Many churches have incorporated into their DNA an intentional focus on helping congregants and members address the day-to-day disagreements and disputes in their lives. They do this through congregational teaching and equipping and providing gifted peacemakers within the congregation as coaches and mediators for other members and attenders. The church often creates under the elders a “peacemaking team” of gifted and equipped individuals. This approach leads to the development of a culture of peace for which the church becomes known within the community.
We provide support for these teams and churches in three ways:
Guidance & Consulting
We help a church both organize a team and its development, including selecting gifted peacemakers. We can help put organizational structures and processes in place, and guide how the church introduces this important service to its members and attenders.
We help guide individuals toward available training in peacemaking for application within a church. We also provide workshops which help individuals completing the basic training, to improve their skills and provide continuing education and skill development for the team.
Providing Conciliation Support
There are times and disputes where the parties need assistance from conciliators who have a greater level of training and experience, and/or who are from outside of the church. Our conciliators are available to provide this assistance and with the agreement of the parties, to have a church team member serve as a co-conciliator, providing additional experience and awareness within the church.
The parties and the conciliators must agree at the outset that, with few exceptions, the conciliators will not be asked to divulge information outside of the conciliation process or the ecclesiastical structure of the parties’ churches. In particular, they may not be subpoenaed to testify in subsequent legal proceedings (see Rules 16 and 17 of the Rules of Procedure). The parties are required to commit to not divulging information to people who do not have a necessary and legitimate interest in the conflict.