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Who Ya Gonna Call?

According to Leadership's research, 79 percent of pastors who used professional mediation consultants found them somewhat or very helpful.

But respondents wished they had called for help sooner. Those who didn't find consultants helpful admitted they entered the formal mediation process too late.

Here is what to expect if you call a consultant.


There are usually four stages to the consulting process.

Consultation. A mediator will interview congregants, lay leaders, and staff. The consultant will also review financial reports and board minutes. This consultation over a weekend is sometimes done on an expenses-only basis.

Next, the mediator will develop an evaluation, identifying the depth of the problem, and, if clear, the reasons conflict escalated.

Out of the evaluation comes a proposal, which spells out the procedures the mediator will lead the parties through, as well as suggested goals. Immediate goals will likely include reducing tension. Another goal will be educating the congregation ...

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