God created humankind with amazing variety – different races, cultures, ethnicities, personalities, preferences and priorities. Those differences lead to inevitable misunderstandings, misinterpretations, differing goals and diverging desires. Those differences also sometimes lead to conflict, even in the church. The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference stands ready to assist when those conflicts become disruptive and hinder the ministry of the church.
- One organization that we have found to be very helpful in dealing with these conflicts is Peacemaker Ministries, (PO Box 81330, Billings, MT 59108; peacemaker.net). They offers a series of resources to assist churches in resolving conflict in a caring, Biblical manner. We recommend “Resolving Everyday Conflict,” an eight-week DVD study for groups that shares Biblical teaching through clear instruction, group discussions and engaging case studies.
- In addition, the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference has numerous people who have been trained in these materials, either directly through Peacemakers Ministries, or through a series of seminars conducted by Dr. John Kimball in 2012. People around the Conference are able to offer counsel to churches in conflict, or training to churches wishing to learn the Biblical teachings of Peacemaking.
- In more extreme circumstances, we have learned the value of gathering a Vicinage Council of experienced local pastors and lay people to evaluate, mediate, and offer counsel to a congregation in conflict.
Pastors, Sacred Workers and Churches are welcome to contact the CCCC office to discuss these options, and arrange for consultation. Our goal is always healing, reconciliation and restored relationships.
Jesus said, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25). Conflict within the church family has become a serious problem in many local congregations today. Church members and pastors alike say, “If we can just get past this conflict, then we can get on with the Lord’s business!” What they don’t realize is that the conflict itself IS the Lord’s business. If a local church does not learn to live out the reconciliation of the gospel within her own church body, then her witness to the world is compromised — sometimes fatally. When invited, the CCCC Ministry of Conference Care can come alongside a local CCCC church to assist in Christian conciliation, leading the church back toward biblical peace and unity.
There are times when member pastors, pastoral families, and churches are in crisis. Such crises can be from family dysfunction, bereavement, or other factors. The CCCC Ministry of Conference Care is available to provide pastoral care in these situations. This can be particularly important for pastoral families — pastors need pastors too!
Minister Under Care
There are unfortunate circumstances under which a minister with standing in the CCCC can have his or her credentials removed. At such time they will automatically be dismissed from membership. Such circumstances would include a change in doctrinal position that is in opposition to the CCCC Statement of Faith, a permanent change in one’s view of Congregational polity, the commitment of a criminal offense, and other patterns of violation where no repentance is evident. For all other circumstances which require Credential Committee action, the minister’s credentials will be temporarily suspended with an invitation to enter into the Minister Under Care Program.
Established by the Credentials Committee, the Minister Under Care Program is a voluntary process that provides accountability and steps toward restoration. Overseen by the Director of Conference Care and led by a Ministry Care Team of the minister’s peers, the Minister Under Care Program is designed to foster true confession and repentance, structured healing and counseling, restoration, and the possibility of the return to full-time ministry.
For More Information…
...About the CCCC Ministry of Conference Care, please Contact Us or call Director of Conference Care, Peter Wood at (651) 739-1474 (ext. 108)