CHURCH CONFLICT CONSULTATION
HOW IT WORKS
Living Stones does not address church conflict in a vacuum, but rather in the context of the total health of the church. We want to not just help you put out the fire, but to take advantage of the conflict as an opportunity to strengthen the underlying health of the church. The mission of Living Stones is much broader than problem-solving; we work with churches that are committed to improving overall church health and increasing their missional effectiveness.
THE CONSULTATION PROCESS
Phase 1: Assessment Visit
The first step is a site visit to your church by a church conflict consulting team for mutual assessment--for the consulting team to assess the church's needs and opportunities, and for the church leaders to assess whether they wish to enter into a working partnership with Living Stones.
To prepare for this visit, your church will conduct the Natural Church Development survey and complete a brief (4- to 5-page) self-study that can be completed in a few hours. These materials need to be returned to Living Stones about two weeks before the Assessment Visit.
The Assessment Visit is a two to four day visit, usually by two consultants. The consultants will meet with church staff members and perhaps other key ministry leaders, mostly to listen and gather information. We will also be available to meet with anyone from the church, including former attenders, who would like to
meet with us for 30-minute listening sessions. During these
confidential listening sessions we ask four standard questions. Through this process we develop a thorough, well-rounded understanding of all sides of the conflicts the church is experiencing. Your consultant(s) will then meet with your Leadership Team--staff, governing board members, and key ministry leaders--for two to five hours to present your NCD scores, to give a preliminary assessment of the most important challenges facing the church, and to recommend a process for addressing these needs. This Leadership Team meeting can take place on a weeknight, a Saturday, or a Sunday afternoon.
An optional written report summarizing the team’s assessment and recommendations is available for an additional fee.
After pastoring four churches in crisis through successful turnarounds, Mike Hare felt led to acquire the skills to help churches successfully navigate conflict to avoid the tragic situations from which he been helping churches recover. He returned to school and earned his Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a primary focus on organizational conflict.
When you schedule an Assessment Visit, neither you nor Living Stones is committing to anything beyond that. A key purpose of the Assessment Visit is for both parties to determine if there is value to a working partnership beyond the initial Assessment Visit. If the church and Living Stones agree that they wish to explore a continued consultation process, Living Stones will develop a custom proposal for the next phase of the consultation process. This will include a description of the recommended next steps, a time frame for completing them, and costs.
Depending on the nature of the issues to be addressed, the scope of services for such a proposal could be as little as a single site visit or as extensive as twelve months of intensive coaching with multiple visits and the option to extend the coaching for up to three years.