The conciliation process is based on the principles summarized in Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker, which has sold over 500,000 copies in twenty languages. The Handbook for Christian Conciliation provides a detailed description of the conciliation process, which has been used to resolve a wide array of personal, church and legal conflicts, as illustrated in these actual cases:
- A Stolen Baby, $200M Lawsuit and an Astonishing Reconciliation (Spiritual Abuse)
- The Three P’s of Satisfaction (Contract)
- Reconciled by a Baby Moose (Employment)
- A Wave of Confessions Saves a Church (Church Leadership)
- Turning Assault into Reconciliation (Family/Probate)
- A Better Way to Handle Abuse (Sexual Abuse)
- The Dangers of “Good” Advocacy (Downside of Adversarial Litigation)
Conciliation and Training Services
Our services are provided by conciliators who have been trained in relational wisdom®, biblical peacemaking and Christian conciliation and serve according to the requirements and standards set forth on this page. This combination of skills gives these conciliators the ability to provide an array of ministry services.
- They are equipped to provide biblically grounded conflict coaching, mediation and binding arbitration for church, ministry, organizational, business, employment, legal, leadership, family and marital conflict, as described in Guiding People Through Conflict.
- When working with conflicted groups, conciliators offer to mentor the leaders in relational wisdom and conflict coaching so they can improve their ability to shepherd their organizations through conflict more effectively in the future (see RW Shepherd Training).
- Conciliators can also help organizations begin the process of developing their own in-house Peace Sower Teams by identifying and training members who can serve the organization in an ongoing volunteer capacity as instructors, conflict coaches and mediators.
Dealing with Trauma, Power Imbalances and Abuse
Conflicts involving emotional trauma, power imbalances or abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, child, elder, spiritual, etc.) require the involvement of conciliators or other professionals who are specifically trained to deal with these types of issues. If your situation may involve any of these dynamics, please indicate that when completing the form below.
If there are credible allegations or signs of significant abuse, we will require an independent investigation to unearth hidden facts and patterns before proceeding with a conciliation process. This is not a standard practice with all conciliation ministries, and we caution against attempting conciliation without such an investigation. Moreover, we encourage individuals and organizations dealing with abuse to use the principles taught in our Best Practices for Complex Cases as a standard by which to evaluate any organization they are considering for conciliation assistance.
Three investigation organizations to consider are: Telios Law Investigations, Fact Finding Ministry and GRACE. If you are dealing with a situation involving domestic abuse, we recommend that you contact Beauty from Ashes, which specializes in providing conciliation and support services in these situations.
Requesting Legal Advice
RW360 does not provide legal advice or representation. If the situation you are facing requires such assistance, please contact one of these organizations:
- Brotherhood Mutual Legal Assist for Ministries (free advice on many practical and legal issues faced by churches and ministries; before contacting them, please see these Six Tips for Resolving Conflict in the Church – Interview with Ken Sande)
- Christian Legal Society Christian Lawyer Directory (contact information for Christian attorneys)
- Christian Legal Aid: This network of local ministries provides access to legal aid services for the poor, the marginalized,
and the victims of injustice in America with the love of Christ.
Divorce and Child Custody Disputes
Divorce and child custody disputes often involve a combination of legal, financial, relational and spiritual issues. Conciliators do not provide professional legal or financial advice, but they are often able to assist parties to make progress on relational and spiritual issues by applying the principles of relational wisdom and biblical peacemaking. Sometimes this progress opens the door for repentance and reconciliation and cancels the desire for a divorce. Even if reconciliation does not occur, conciliation can make it easier for parties to resolve other issues more reasonably and without a prolonged adversarial process.
Before you submit a Request for Conciliation Assistance form in a divorce or custody case (see link below), we encourage you to read through the following materials, asking God to help you, your spouse and your church see how these principles could be applied in your situation.
- Hope for Troubled Marriages
- How to Resurrect a Dead Relationship
- The Best Way to Rewrite History
- Three Qualities that Improve Every Relationship
- A SOG Confession
- The Myths of Divorce
- How Churches Can Preserve and Heal Marriages
If these articles inspire you to continue working to save your marriage, we encourage you to seek individual or joint counseling from your pastor or a respected Christian counselor in your community, such as someone who has been trained through the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation.
If you would like guidance on how to apply peacemaking concepts in your family, either to pursue reconciliation or to assist you in finding agreement on legal, financial or custody issues without a prolonged court battle, please fill out the Requestion for Conciliation Assistance form below.
If you need professional guidance on legal issues, please use the links in the previous section to locate a Christian attorney or Christian Legal Aid clinic that might be able to assist you.
Requesting Conciliation Assistance or Opening a Case
- If you are a party in a dispute and would like to request a personal interview to learn more about our services, receive preliminary advice on how to deal with a conflict, or open a formal conciliation case, please complete our Request for Conciliation Assistance form.
- If you are seeking to reconcile other people who are in a dispute and need guidance on how to serve them as an informal conflict coach, mediator or arbitrator as described in Guiding People Through Conflict, please complete the form on our Conciliation Hotline page.
- History of Christian Conciliation
- Additional Conciliation Providers
- Conciliator Grievance Policy
- Three Levels of Peacemaking
- Introduction to Christian Conciliation – Frequently Asked Questions
- Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation
- Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliators
- Conciliation Clauses for Contracts and Wills and Supporting Court Decisions
- Conciliator Grievance Policy