Recognizing the First Steps to Take
Without a doubt, failure to take intentional, significant action early, when the conflict is emerging, is the biggest mistake churches make. Even experienced pastors may find themselves denying the seriousness of issues and leaving problems unaddressed.
Many elders are experienced businessmen who misdiagnose the situation, evaluating the situation through a business lens. This has value, but can often miss the ministry components, applying or adopting ineffective solutions to the situation.
Ultimately timing is the biggest miss; that is addressing the issues early before they grow in scope and depth. We suggest taking two steps:
- Contact your denominational or conference agencies
- Use the books, DVD-based study, and other materials available in the Reading List section of our website
If you have looked inward and know you can benefit from assistance, call Crossroads Resolution Group.
Phone number: 503-764-9254
Resolution Timeline: How Long Will the Process Take?
Generally a conciliation team can be in place within four to six weeks following the formal acceptance of a proposal for conflict assistance. The amount of time to complete on-site assistance depends upon the type of assistance conducted. Below is an outline of our assistance process. Within the description are general time frames for each element of service.
The assistance process is comprised of four phases:
- Assessment, which begins with your contact to us, our assessment of your situation, and the presentation and acceptance of a proposal. This comprehensive document can be presented to church boards, committees, or the entire congregation for review and approval.
- Pre-on-site phase, which includes preparation and scheduling assistance.
- On-site phase, with visits ranging from two—10 days. Depending on the number of days, this may be accomplished in one or two visits. Two-visit projects usually include a four- to six-week interval between visits.
- Post-site phase, which is the final wrap-up of our work together, and usually takes at least 30 days.
Using Third Parties
Sometimes, conflicts require an outside conciliator. Our conciliators are experienced in working in local churches experiencing unresolved conflict and issues. We assess on three levels: Individual, Leadership, and Congregational. Situations include:
- Individual conflicts within a church can have a complexity or sensitivity requiring outside conciliators. Conflict can be unresolved because of the lack of skill in current leadership to address the issues effectively.
- Leadership conflicts within a church require a different level of assistance than individual conflicts. Our teams are made up of experienced conciliators who understand leadership dynamics and can apply the Biblical peacemaking principles within organizational settings.
- Congregational conflicts are obviously the largest in scope of the three levels of assessment we provide. Both Individual and Leadership conflicts are also involved in Congregation wide conflicts.