This originated as a textbook for the training and deploying of mediators in the Anglican Church in North America. It is also a book for all who love the church yet lack a roadmap when dealing with conflicts. Conflict is a spiritual stronghold that can immobilize even the strongest of Christian leaders. After years of having mediated other peoples’ disasters, the authors know well that, when followed, the principles they outline in this book will bring blessed resolution.
Secular mediation works in a climate where money is the expected restorative, and where people (who will soon be going their own separate ways) are driven by perceived needs. Mediation in the Church is very different indeed. Its purpose is the restoration of relationships that will endure.
Because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, conflict among Christians always has restorative possibilities. The power of Christian mediation lies in bringing into the light of Christ the relational disconnects that had produced conflict in the first place, and correcting these disconnects in love. Resentments dissolve in the peace that Jesus Christ brings—because the Lord’s commandments to love one another, and to forgive one another, are as practical as they are godly. People who were formerly at odds are grateful to again be in Christian fellowship with one with another. Even church conflicts that have reigned and ruled for years can be gone for good.
Christian mediation is not to be confused with Christian counseling, although the Christian mediator relies on the Holy Spirit for discernment and guidance. Thus the authors’ experiences and insights are remarkable for having helped people in the church, and people in business environments, to bridge seemingly impossible disputes so that conflicts that in some cases ruled for decades are lovingly resolved. Together with Foreword, Introduction and Appendices, this work includes the following chapters:
A VISION FOR MEDIATION
THE PERSON OF THE MEDIATOR
BECOMING AN ARTFUL LISTENER
ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS
BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF MEDIATION
ENGAGING THE PARTIES
HOW TO DIAGNOSE WITHOUT PREJUDICE
THE PRACTICE OF MEDIATION
A PEACEMAKER’S PERSPECTIVE