Consultation Services Offered by LMPC

When issues arise in the church, leaders can explore a variety of options for consultation offered by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC). The option eventually pursued depends on certain key variables, including: the level of anxiety being experienced; how widespread the anxiety is within the congregational system; and the level of commitment among leaders to seek genuine healing and reconciliation.

The full range of options listed below may help leaders discern the best course for their congregation, given the circumstances they are experiencing.

Full Congregation Mediation Process

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; Information Gathering and Assessment; Education; Healing; Problem Solving; and Closure.
  • When to choose this process: There is a relatively high and wide-spread level of anxiety in your congregation; There is a need to make some win-win decisions regarding issues of disagreement facing the congregation; The need to address hurts in interpersonal relationships in the congregation in a healing manner; There is a need to bring closure to unresolved hurts from the past; Your congregation ranks as a Level Four on Speed Leas’ Scale of Conflict in Churches.
  • How long: This process typically takes six to twelve months to complete.
  • Includes: Two weekend workshops; Several 90-minute small-group sessions where interests of participants are recorded for problem solving later in the process; Two five-hour sessions to work at neutralizing history; Two five-hour sessions for Problem Solving; Closing service of reconciliation. At least 40 hours of engagement across the course of this service.
  • LMPC Desires: To have a vote whereby at least 67% of those present and voting express their support for and commitment to undertaking the congregational mediation process. The congregational mediation process is designed to involve the entire congregation. The participation and support of key leaders, including the pastor, is crucial. 
  • Cost: $25,000-$50,000 depending on location and size.

Mediation With A Small Group

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; Information Gathering and Assessment; Education; Healing; Problem Solving; and Closure.
    • Like the Full Congregational Mediation Process but with fewer participants.
    • Curtail some of the steps; less expense.
  • LMPC Considerations: Ensure that people representing all of the various perspectives on the issue facing the congregation are included in the process.
    • This must be the right process for your congregation and not a short-cut.
    • The people affected by the conflict are involved.
    • All members impacted by decisions are involved.

Interpersonal Mediation

  • Components: With 2-6 people.
    • Pre-mediation steps of Contracting and Commitment.
    • Phone Interviews for Information Gathering and Assessment.
    • Educational Component: Style Profile, Biblical material, basic conflict skills.
  • Mediation Steps: Set a time and place for the mediations and facilitate the four-step mediation process.
    • Incorporate transformation strategies of healing, giving agency and working toward reconciliation.
    • Incorporating key Family Systems theory.

Restorative Conversations

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; Restorative Conversations.
  • When to choose this process: A congregation has experienced a particularly painful event and desires a conversation where members can talk through the pain and grief of the event, hear from one another, process the event as a group together, and move forward in a unified manner.
  • Examples:
    • Tensions related to COVID-19
    • Sudden departure of a pastor or staff
    • Low-level tensions within leadership

Agreement on Procedures

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; LMPC assists in designing an Agreement on Procedures that details the steps and timeline of the discernment process; Educational Component; Small Group-Sessions; A written report and final proposal leading to a congregational vote.
  • When to choose this process: A congregation is discerning to make a major decision, and there are significant differences around the issue.
  • Examples:
    • Closure, Merger, or Geographical Move of a church.
    • Responding to a significant change in denominational direction; to become Open and Affirming (ONA).
    • Major expenditure for a building,
    • New Mission direction toward immigrants with a second language.


  • Components: Using a case study format, the pastor would schedule consultation sessions focused on specific congregational situations and how he/she can manage self more effectively in those situations. Coaching can be conducted via phone, Zoom, or in person.
  • When to choose this process: When interest around our Consultation Services have been developed and there has been a decision to invite on-site work by LMPC staff; Pastors simultaneously attend LMPC’s Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process.
  • Coaching based off of Bowen Theory of Family Systems.
  • Examples:
    • Assisting church leaders in facilitating a pastoral transition
      • Saying goodbye to current pastor
      • Searching for a new pastor
      • Welcoming a new pastor

Educational Workshop With Coaching of Leaders

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; Providing a series of two educational workshops, in conjunction with a process of periodic coaching for congregational leaders and the pastor.
    • The workshops we recommend: Healthy Congregations, followed some weeks later by Conflict in the Church: Entrusted with the Message of Reconciliation.
  • When to choose this process: If intensity within a congregation is not at a particularly high level; There is not high-level anxiety within the church; Lay leadership and pastor are relatively unified; Lay leadership and pastor are committed to doing the hard work of implementing the workshop learnings afterward.

Freestanding Educational Events

  • Components: Contracting and Commitment; Choose one or both workshops provided (Healthy Congregations and Conflict in the Church: Entrusted with the Message of Reconciliation).
  • When to choose this process: Anxiety is relatively low in the congregation; No significant need for healing in relationships; An initial step to weigh if your congregation needs further support.
  • Benefits: Equip congregational leaders to put limits on invasive, destructive behaviors; Prevent destructive conflict from emerging in the future; Equip leaders with skills for addressing conflicts in a problem-solving way at an early level of intensity, so that the intensity level does not escalate to the point of creating division and polarization in the church. 
  • Train Leaders by attending other workshops offered by LMPC: Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation Relations. Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family systems Perspective, and Mediation Skills Training Institute.

Whenever a church faces a time of conflict, leaders can have a difficult time discerning the best course
of action to pursue. However, whatever option is chosen, a key ingredient in helping a church move toward healing and reconciliation is the capacity of leaders to step back from their particular position on the content issues being faced by the church and, instead, focus on their primary role of being stewards of congregational health.

Thus, leaders play a particularly important role in moving a church through times of anxiety, in such a way that allows God ‘s Spirit to be active in helping Christ’s church grow increasingly in healthy and wholeness, into all that God wants it to be.

We always come back to our guiding verse at LMPC, which is:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”

2 Corinthians 5:18

We are here to help you develop the tools needed to engage with your congregation with grace and confidence.

To learn which process might be right for you and your church, call our office at (630) 627-0507. You may also email us at