How to get started
Trained Michigan Conference facilitators, coaches, consultants and mediators are ready to assist ministry teams, committees, paid and unpaid leaders, congregants, small group ministries and more. Service fees and expenses vary.
To learn more, please contact Naomi Garcia
Resolving issues in the church family
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. -John 4:7
In faith communities we live in connection with one-another, much like a family. When we don’t know what to do with difficult issues, we fall back to what we know – how we learned to deal with conflict growing up in our most important relationships, our families of origin. Family systems theory helps us both understand and navigate these challenges. The lens of Murray Bowen (psychiatrist) and his student Edwin Freidman (rabbi and therapist) is key. Behavior in times of uncertainty is predictable. ‘If-it-happens thinking is wishful. When-it-happens thinking is preparation rooted in the strength of clarity.
Most Frequently Requested Services.
- Family systems peer groups. For professionals in the ministry and other believers seeking to function in healthy ways. Participants learn to apply family systems theory to daily life through with the support of peers. Family system peer groups generally meet October through April in various locations across Michigan or online. Groups are designed for both new and continuing learners. New Peer Groups are forming now. Click here for more information and to register.
- Healthy Congregations workshops. Focusing on the least anxious person in the relationship is often the best approach to improving relationships. These workshops focus on creating a mutual valuing of oneself and others for long-term healthy relationships.
- The Rule of Christ: Applying Matthew 18. A communication workshop on how to use Christ’s directive of first going directly to the person who has caused harm. For any mix of congregants, leaders and guests. The content is intended for everyone in a faith community. The design is adapted to the intended audience.
- Organizational Structure or Re-Structure for fruitful Ministries. Vision, Mission, Values, Objectives, Goals and Action Plans with deadlines are more likely to faithful and fruitful when aligned with one another. Representative governance (such as the typical Administrative Council) is among the least effective ways to organize for effectiveness. A better option of governance is separating policy making from procedure monitoring; the practice of assessing effectiveness from the tasks of accomplishing specific ministries.
- Behavioral Covenants for Congregations and Ministry Teams. Intended for new and long-time teams or groups to learn how to define ideal ways participants intend to relate to one another. Primary resources: BEHAVIOR COVENANTS FOR CONGREGATIONS (Gil Rendle) and WATCHING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE: A WESLEYAN MODEL FOR MINISTRY ASSESSMENT (Gwendolynn Purushotham, 2011)
- Mediation for individuals, ministry teams or the entire congregation. A process of creating protected space for everyone to be heard regardless of whether or not conflict is present. Once people feel heard, they are more likely to be ready to engage in creative conversation and strategic planning.
- Restorative Conferencing. Designed for highly conflicted environments, restorative conferencing focuses on each participant responding to specific questions without interruption: What has or is happening? Who was hurt or harmed? What could be done to repair the hurt or harm?