This article aims to be a resource for both congregational and denominational churches in any stage of internal conflict. Whether members fight over theological questions, or factions split over who owns the church building, church conflicts are best resolved via the mediation process. Mediation has the greatest potential for reaching resolution in these disputes because it uses an outside third-party, addresses parties' underlying needs and interests, and is more aligned with Christian principles. The selection of a mediator is also an integral part of the mediation process. Churches should choose a mediator who maintains the balance between impartiality and substantive credibility. A church should also use the equitable dissolution approach to divide church property after a separation. Part II will identify "hot-button" issues that instigate church disputes. Part III points out the impact of those issues. Part IV discusses why mediation is the most beneficial means of resolving church conflict. Once a church has employed the tool of mediation, a church must make two succeeding decisions: Part V examines the selection of an adequate mediator as unique to these conflict situations; and Part VI investigates how a church should deal with its assets following a division. Part VII analyzes individual case studies of church conflicts applying the propositions within Parts IV and V. Part VIII is a final analysis and Part IX concludes this article.
Amanda L. Marutzky,
Making a Deal with the Devil: A Mediation Approach to Mitigating the Negative Effects of Church Conflict ,
10 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol10/iss2/4