Thank you for your interest in the possibility of using biblical peacemaking (also known as Christian conciliation) to pursue reconciliation and resolution of a conflict.
For your consideration, this page provides information about the Christian conciliation process and the convictions that govern the way I offer services. I hope this information is helpful as you decide whether to submit your dispute to PacePeace Conciliation Services for Christian conciliation conflict coaching or mediation.
I believe that conflict offers opportunities to glorify God, serve others, and grow to be more like Christ. According to the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation, “the purpose of Christian conciliation is to glorify God by helping people to resolve disputes in a conciliatory rather than an adversarial manner. In addition to facilitating the resolution of substantive issues, Christian conciliation seeks to reconcile those who have been alienated by conflict and to help them learn how to change their attitudes and behavior to avoid similar conflicts in the future.”
Even though I am trained and licensed as an attorney, I do not give legal advice or provide legal services when I serve as a Christian conciliator (conflict coach, mediator, or arbitrator). For this reason, you may wish to have any the terms of any written agreement reviewed by an independent attorney who understands and respects your commitment to honoring God and pursuing peace in this situation, and can advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities in light of your Christian convictions.
Conflict coaching is a form of biblical peacemaking where a person (the conflict coach) helps one party to the conflict respond biblically to the conflict situation. The goal of conflict coaching is to help prepare the party to pursue reconciliation and resolution privately with the other party. Mediation is another option available to you. While civil mediators generally do not have contact with parties prior to the mediation, it is customary for Christian conciliation mediators to have one or more pre-mediation meetings for conflict coaching and to make pre-mediation assignments to help the parties find encouragement in God’s great love and to seek His guidance in preparing for mediation.
As a mediator in Christian conciliation, I would be serving both parties as an impartial facilitator, to help you arrive at your own voluntary and mutually satisfactory resolution. I would not be acting as a judge, to decide any matters for you, nor would I be giving either of you legal advice. I could help you put your own agreement into writing, but I would not be “drafting” an agreement as your own independent attorney would do. As required by the Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliators, I would encourage all parties, as follows:
At appropriate times and in a gracious manner, the Christian conciliator shall:
(1) show the parties that in order to find lasting solutions to their conflicts and problems, their lives and decisions must conform to the concepts and standards of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:15-17);
(2) point out clearly the requirements of the Scriptures as applied to everyday life and practice (2 Tim. 4:2);
(3) help the parties to make decisions, to take actions, and to change their lifestyles, habits, and conduct as God has instructed in the Scriptures, so that they may enjoy life and their relationship with God (Eph. 4:22-24); and
(4) encourage repentance, confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation whenever sin has occurred or a relationship has been broken (Luke 17:3; Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 4:2).
This is what Christian conciliation involves.
Does this sound like the kind of process you want?
For further assistance, please complete the following forms:
* The Interview Agreement and Fees and Costs Schedule explain the fees and costs
involved in engaging PacePeace Conciliation Services.
Please send these forms and the non-refundable filing fee of $500 to:
PacePeace Conciliation Services
P.O. Box 1847
Blowing Rock, NC 28605.
May the Lord bless all your peacemaking efforts for His glory. Please contact PacePeace Conciliation Services if we may provide additional information or assistance.
Additional Information Regarding Marriage Cases
So that my time is invested in cases most likely to benefit from Christian conciliation, I only provide services to parties who are willing to work through the case in three separate stages. The first stage involves an effort to help the parties understand how each of them contributed to the conflict in their marriage. In many cases this will reveal ways that the marriage can still be preserved. Even if a divorce occurs, it will help the parties identify the things they need to change in order to have more successful relationships in the future. The second stage is to explore all reasonable avenues for reconciliation. Although no one can force parties to reconcile, it is important to make sure that they have left no stone unturned in an effort to reconcile their relationship. If both parties are willing to work on the first two stages in good faith, but reconciliation simply does not take place, then we will move on to the third and final stage. Specifically, I will mediate the legal and personal issues attendant to the divorce, such as property settlement, child custody visitation and support, and spousal support (alimony).
Are you willing to work within this kind of three-stage process?
When a case involves the possibility of divorce, I generally request that parties speak to their pastor about the conciliation process and have their pastor affirm that the case is appropriate for Christian conciliation and confirm that the church is willing to participate in and support the conciliation process as much as necessary. The reason for this request is to preserve the primary role of your church leaders as shepherds called to “watch over you as men who must give an account.” (Hebrews 13:17 NIV)
Are you willing to let your church leaders minister to you in this way?
You may be wondering why I choose to work this way. It is simply that I believe that God’s resurrection power can even revive dead marriages, and I don’t want any of His children to miss that blessing. However, pursuing reconciliation is a process requiring grace and patience; it is a daily choice to trust God’s sufficiency as changing hearts produce changed behavior and as forgiveness overcomes bitterness and pain. I have seen marriages restored and divorced couples remarry when both parties allow the Holy Spirit to conform them to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when both parties avoid making a good desire for reconciliation or a good desire for closure into a high-pressure demand that robs them of their joy and satisfaction in faithful dependent obedience to Christ. I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will guide and encourage you as you seek to honor Him in the midst of this situation.
I hope the following materials will be helpful to you as you consider how to proceed:
P.O. Box 1847
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (347) OUR-PEACE