Crossroads Resolution believes that creating a Conciliation Ministry Focus within a denomination’s or association’s organizational structure, as well as within its individual churches is an important component of serving denominations and associations. When this focus exists, entire denominations or associations have the ability to address Church-based conflicts within local churches. This focus provides a process provided by qualified, equipped individuals, to address matters which the individual churches are not able to address or resolve on their own.
This service provides conflict assistance to individual churches within a denomination or association, as well as helps the denomination or association assist churches that are experiencing conflict and needing assistance. We provide the denomination or association with a plan 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 Leads. In addition to the providing Church Assistance described in Who We Serve – Churches, this service involves the following components.
Training in Church Assistance Services.
In partnership with Peacemaker Ministries, we provide a three-day inter-active training course for individuals which a denomination or association selects to be equipped to provide Church Assistance services their member churches. Reconciling Church Conflict is designed by experienced and skilled Christian conciliators and is an in-depth training preparing you to intervene in organizational conflicts (church congregations and other large groups). Peacemaker Ministries has learned that understanding of the governance structure and language associated with specific traditions is critical for successful outcomes of such interventions. Therefore, you will choose from among one of the following church tradition tracks for the purpose of focused case study: Broadly Evangelical (elder-led congregational polity), Presbyterian & Reformed (elder-rule polity with a connection to the regional church), Baptist (traditional deacon board congregational polity), Lutheran (voter assembly congregational polity with elders). This is an Advanced Course, with Foundational Skills as a pre-requisite.
Mentoring Team Members
Putting into practice the understanding and skills learned in Reconciling Church Conflict, under the guidance of an experienced Team lead provided by Crossroads Resolution Group is a key component to creating competency on the part of individuals being trained to provide this service on behalf of the denomination or association. We work along-side the individuals selected, as they work with congregations experiencing church conflict.
This mentoring process is provided over three cases, followed by being available for follow up and consulting. When a denomination identifies a church in need of assistance, The Crossroads Team lead, leads the Team of conciliators which uses denomination selected individuals in training. Once this first case is completed, the denomination selected individual serves as the co-lead with the Crossroads lead on the second case. The selected individual then serves as the Team Lead, with the Crossroads lead serving as a team member on the third case.
This mentoring approach allows the denomination personnel to become familiar with and experienced in delivering these important services. Crossroads remains available for on-going assistance and consulting as needed, including the providing of continuing education to keep skills and understanding fresh.
The ability for an organization to develop a well equipped team and to deliver these services and training will require a planned period of time, depending on the level of training the selected individuals currently have. We recommend that the proposal establish a long term plan which matches the timeline that meets the needs and ability of the organization. The complete program will usually require two to three years of equipping.
Third Party Assistanc
Where conflicts are of a nature which requires assistance from an outside or third party conciliator, we provide such assistance with our experienced conciliators. These situations may occur in one or more of the following situations:
- Individual conflicts within in a church that has a complexity or sensitivity requiring outside conciliators (employment disputes, high level legal disputes, etc.)
- Disputes between the organization and its member churches.
Coupled with the Conciliation Ministry Focus, is the need to provide foundational training in biblical principles for conflict resolution to churches within the organization. Such training is both a proactive and preventive step to minimize the harmful effect of conflict within the local church. It is part of helping churches experiencing conflict to begin to build a culture of peace. This training is provided through our ministry partner Peacemaker Ministries. Peacemaker Ministries also has a program to train denominational personnel to be licensed instructors of the Foundational Skills. This allows the denomination or association to offer Foundational Skills, consisting of Conflict Coaching and Mediation to their own members, using your instructors.