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January 15, 2022, 03:15 PM

Conflict Resolution and Mediation in Church Settings

A workshop by Rev. Beth Neil Pastor, Culmore United Methodist Church Visit site

Blessed are the peacemakers. We are called to love one another, forgive an infinite number of times, and turn the other cheek. How can we live this out when addressing conflict within church settings?

In any group, differences will arise, and the church is no exception. Dissention isn’t necessarily bad, for we all have differing ideas and perspectives; however, it becomes a problem when conflict is ignored or poorly managed. Unmanaged conflict can disrupt the work of the church, splinter congregations/church staff, with members sometimes opting to leave. In the process, pastors and church managers may end up spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with conflict among members and staff.

In a church, conflicts need to be resolved without wounding those involved, without allowing toxic environments to flourish, without creating cultures of blame.

This session will explore conflict resolution and mediation strategies modified for church settings. (For example, given that churches often rely on volunteers for much of the work, roles are more fluid, without the same dynamics of performance reviews as found in business settings.)

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