There are occasions when relationships get strained and conflict escalates despite people's best intentions. Communication in these situations gets tense, and things can easily be misunderstood, or misinterpreted. Hurts multiply and work, life, church, ministry and mission all suffer as a result. In these situations interpersonal mediation provides the opportunity to have the conversations you need to have. These are structured, controlled and helpful conversations where the mediators hold the space, enabling you to talk, and hopefully resolve your issues. As a Christian mediation, this is in the spirit of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 18, walking towards those with whom we disagree in order to find positive, and loving ways forward.
I am experienced mediator of nearly 20 years working in a variety of contexts and situations. For 19 years I have mediated community and neighbour disputes, working with Smile Mediation in Lancashire, specialising in reconciling family relationships. Alongside that, I work with churches, and Christians experiencing conflict within churches, to address and resolve their differences. I am an experienced practitioner in Gilmore Fraleigh Style Profiling, and use Bowen Family System Theory to help in conflict management coaching. My initial training was through Bridge Builders Ministries (2000), in Interpersonal Mediation, which has been added to through comprehensive training with Mediation Northern Ireland. I am a member of the College of Mediators, and a qualified Supervisor for Mediators.
If you think that mediation may be of help to you in the situation you are experiencing. at home, work or within the church community, please do email me and I will get in touch for a chat to see if this service could be of help to you.
Church Intervention Process
Sometimes churches experience situations which, despite best efforts, get out of control, or grow in such a way that the church community is being effected negatively. In most of these situations relationships suffer, and people become increasingly uncomfortable with aspects of church life, often describing it as if they are having to 'walk on eggshells'. If these situations are not addressed relationships suffer and the tension increases. The church becomes an anxious and unhappy place and ministry and mission suffer. In some cases people start to vote with their feet, finding the tension too much for them, and leave the church community.
A church intervention process, offered by the Blackley Centre, involves 2 members of the Blackley team, coming alongside the church to aid communication, both speaking and listening, to help the church overcome the tensions and difficulties. This process can be demanding and challenging, but ultimately is usually life-giving to the community.
If your church would be interested in exploring just such a process, please do get in touch. All conversations are confidential.