Church Conflict, Introduction

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Peacemaking, Conflict in Church – Introduction


When I first developed an interest in this subject three decades ago, there was little material geared toward Christian ministry. Since that time, many ministry resources have emerged. Most of the literature is adapted from from authors and consultants outside the church.

On a theological level, our interest in peacemaking should be higher than most. The church possesses a unique calling and empowerment for God’s reconciling work that transcends technique and should govern its use. We should be a people who “seek peace and pursue it” not simply because it is good strategically for Christian ministry, but because it reflects our ongoing transformation into the likeness of Jesus and participation in God’s vision to reconcile all things to himself. We should also refrain from trusting in technique that stops short of fulfilling God’s intent for conflict transformation. Christians do not have the luxury of merely resolving specific disputes, but must stretch beyond to see the experience as part of our growth in Christ.

Most resources on church conflict are weak on theology. Some hint at it. Some propose theologies that accommodate a few key scripture references. Some briefly attribute their ideas to a biblical vision of God’s shalom. Others use the biblical texts to demonstrate a sequence that upholds kingdom ethics in peacemaking. Most of these are responsible efforts, are at least congruent with scripture, and can be adapted for good use.

Follow the links below to ministry resources under each category. Remember to see the list at the bottom for resource suggestions in related areas.

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Index to Ministry Resources for Peacemaking in Church Conflict

Education for Peacemaking, Church Conflict

  • Biblical Visions of Peacemaking and Reconciliation
  • Standard Textbooks
  • Dynamics of Church Conflict
  • Case Studies

Peacemaking Strategies, Managing and Resolving Church Conflict

  • Managing and Resolving Church Conflict
  • Navigating Ongoing Unsolvable Tensions, Polarity Management
  • Other often recommended texts

Church Conflict — Guides to Dialogue, Healthy Behavior and Forgiveness

Leadership, Preaching and Worship in Conflict

  • Leadership in Church Conflict
  • Preaching in Church Conflict
  • Worship in Church Conflict

Church Conflict — Handling Criticism, Difficult People and Difficult Conversations

  • Handling Criticism
  • Difficult People
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Assertiveness

Church Conflict — Strategies for Congregational Trauma, Ministerial Misconduct

Church Conflict — Strategies in Power Imbalanced Situations (Leadership in Subordinate Roles)

Church Conflict — Leadership Development Through Communication Competence

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See Related Ministry Resources:

See Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry:

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