Books

Transforming Church Conflict

Compassionate Leadership in Action

With many pastors facing burnout and congregations suffering from internal divisions, there is a need for Christian resources that present concrete problem-solving techniques for handling conflict in the church. This book offers practical skills and strategies that the authors have learned through years of studying nonviolent communication (NVC) as described in Marshall Rosenberg's book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, and as developed by numerous NVC trainers all over the world. Using real-world case studies and examples, Hunsinger and Latini helpfully guide pastors and lay leaders through effective and compassionate ways to deal with discord. These strategies include differentiating observations from evaluations, experiencing and expressing feelings, identifying and connecting with needs, and making requests rather than demands. By learning the basic skills of compassionate communication, church leaders can be empowered to transform, rather than merely manage, church conflict.

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The Church and the Crisis of Community

A Practical Theology of Small-Group Ministry

Contemporary society is in crisis, its structures broken and fragmented, and its people overstimulated, overstressed, and thirsty for true communion with the sacred and with one another. Yet although more than eighty-five percent of congregations in the United States conduct small-group ministry, too many of these groups begin with no clear sense of purpose, structure, or spiritual focus and end by veering away from Christian tradition and unknowingly settling for shallow versions of popular Christianity.

In The Church and the Crisis of Community, Theresa Latini lays out both a theoretical groundwork and a practical guideline for successful small-group ministry. Examining the latest sociological research and the real-life practices of small groups in six congregations, she shows how well-developed groups ― those with mission statements, leadership training, and solid organizational structure ― can be a truly effective tool in the church’s work of transforming broken and shallow forms of community into life-giving, life-sustaining relationships with God and others.

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