Congregations--Internal conflict

Mystic sweet communion : holy conversation and the sanctification of the church

Author
Carol T. Cavin-Dillon
Abstract
The United Methodist Church is in crisis. For nearly fifty years its members have struggled to find consensus around the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the life of the church. When congregations, Annual and General Conferences are tasked with voting, polarization deepens. However, when Christians gather for holy conversation, where there is genuine listening and open sharing, the result is often an awareness of deeper unity. This paper explores how holy conversation affected two different congregations. The author offers this model in the hope that it will help other congregations to remain committed to one another and to the Church.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Nehemiah leads the way : finding hope during congregational crisis

Author
Kristen Ann Burkhart
Abstract
Leading a congregation through a church crisis is an adaptive leadership challenge. What kinds of practical pastoral leadership steps does it take to help a church recover from a crisis and refocus mission and ministry? How is a wounded congregation led into hope-filled healing? Researching the congregation’s social context and history gives insight into the need for refocused mission and ministry. Preaching an eight-week sermon series on Nehemiah and processing it through narrative research and focused ministry action established the foundation for a wounded congregation to rebuild. Adapting change to the church committee structure provides renewal and creates space to received hope-filled healing as culture is shifted from internal to external, from “us” to “Christ.”

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

探討保羅在哥林多教會的衝突處理與權柄建立:
榮耀神的教牧實踐
An exploration from the Corinthian church on conflict resolution and authority building:
A God-glorifying pastoral practice.

Author
MANJUNG ABRAHAM TSAI D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis explores the relationship of pastoral authority and conflict resolution in a way that will glorify God, along with the process of building up such pastoral authority. Paul’s letters to the Corinthian Church contain specific events that provide realistic and historical material on which to base theological concepts regarding the resolution of conflict and the exercise of pastoral authority. Therefore, the researcher utilizes the perspective of equal and unequal powers in an organizational structure to analyze the conflicts in the Corinthian church. The investigation of these Scriptures is based on the presupposition that pastoral authority in conflict resolution needs to attain a certain level of competency and practice in three specific fields: adhering to pure biblical positions, pursuing mature spiritual character, and possessing excellent leadership skills.

Using Spiritual Direction for Intercultural Development: An Integrative Journey

Author
Deborah Renee Penny D.Min.
Abstract
As seminaries strive to prepare students for increasingly multicultural societies, they must develop new ways to extend and teach hospitality and respond to cultural conflicts. Traditional approaches have largely focused on external behaviors. However, self-awareness and self- knowledge are critical components of intercultural development. Individuals cannot authentically engage cultural similarities and differences without awareness of their own cultural orientation. The ancient church practices of spiritual direction, when combined with the psychometric benefits of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Intercultural Development Plan (IDP), can enhance cultural adeptness and improve self-awareness. This research project demonstrates the outcomes of this integrated strategy.

The Impact of Past Hurts on Effective Ministry in a Local African American Church

Author
Imogene Lowery
Abstract
The author examined how to move an African American church through past hurts to effective ministry. She sought to understand hurts, and the long lasting and negative impact of hurts on individuals and the church. The research was qualitative and used surveys and interviews. Upon analyzing the data the findings were compared and contrasted. The findings revealed passive aggressive behaviors such as gossip and spreading rumors as some ways congregants handled their hurts. Hurts were used by false accusations, a failure to show compassion, and lack of commitment, which negatively impacted the ministry. The author developed seven principles for a hurting church to help this congregation return to effective ministry.

Avoiding division within a church: a proactive approach for identifying sources of conflict and creating a healthy ministry environment

Author
Kenneth V Polley
Abstract
The research identified topics church interventionists address when assisting churches in the recovery process, primary sources of conflict based upon church experiences, and parallels between these two areas. Seven areas common among church interventionists were identified: acceptance of differences, unresolved corporate sin, church structure, ministry focus, leadership, communication, and accountability. The data were inconclusive in establishing a direct relationship between the seven identified areas and the onset of conflict. The research found surveyed churches shared common areas of deficiency: weak administrative structure, avoidance of differences, absence of ministry focus, and lack of leadership time focused upon development or spiritual development.

Surviving the pastoral ministry in an atmosphere of extreme congregational conflict

Author
Timothy J Rehwaldt
Abstract
This dissertation offers a study tool for pastors and congregations for the prevention of and survival in extreme congregational conflict. This goal was accomplished by pastors writing about the extreme conflicts which occurred in their congregations. A series of statements provided each pastor a framework for their story. These conflict stories were compiled into a study guide meant to help pastors and congregations discuss extreme conflict in a preventative manner. A laity group shared observations and reactions tot he conflict stories, providing for the reader how the stories of conflict were received by congregational members in a real ministry context.

Developing peacemaking teams in selected churches of Shasta Baptist Association

Author
John Bohrer
Abstract
Conflict occurs in all churches. It becomes a serious issue when churches do not deal with it correctly. The project intended to encourage churches to establish and implement a policy of conflict resolution. The training aided the churches in developing peacekeeping teams that could deal effectively with conflict. The goal is to assist the churches in conflict resolution training so that they will approach conflict correctly before it becomes a serious problem.

Equipping the deacons of First Baptist Church, Lyman, South Carolina, to manage conflict biblically

Author
Scott P Stancil
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to equip the deacons of First Baptist Church, Lyman, South Carolina, to manage conflict biblically. Recognizing the inevitability of conflict, it is essential for Christians to navigate through conflict in a biblical manner. This project researched the field of conflict management and identified biblical passages that enabled the project director to develop a curriculum for the purpose of training the deacons. The deacons are eleven men, chosen by the congregation for the purpose of protecting unity and ministering the needs of the church body. The deacons participated in seven hours of training that led them to develop a biblical perspective and approach to managing conflict. This training included a variety of teaching techniques and evaluations. The scope of the project began with research and curriculum development and ended with equipping the deacons.

In the midst of change: the practice of healing and reconciliation in a multicultural church

Author
Marion Y Park
Abstract
A pastoral staffing change surfaced the tensions and challenges that lay beneath the surface of a multicultural church in southern California. This project addresses the hurt and pain of the minority group at Grace First Presbyterian Church as result of this change and the need to engage in the practice of healing and reconciliation. Utilizing ethnographic research as a pastoral practice, through practices of listening and discerning, the congregation will engage in co-authoring the future. By engaging in a congregational assessment and discernment process, the congregation will move toward healing and reconciliation to discover a future narrative.
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