Transforming Church Conflict: Compassionate Leadership in Action  -     By: Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Theresa F. Latini
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Transforming Church Conflict: Compassionate Leadership in Action

Westminster John Knox Press / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Pastors and church leaders - are you facing burnout? Is your congregation torn by internal divisions?

Hunsinger and Latini will empower you to transform church conflict. Drawing on Marshall Rosenberg's principles of nonviolent communication, they share practical problem-solving strategies to help you differentiate observations from evaluations, express feelings, identify with needs, make requests rather than demands, and more.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 184
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0664238483
ISBN-13: 9780664238483
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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

Author Bio

Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger is the Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she is the author or editor of several books, including Pray without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care.

Theresa F. Latini is the George Weinman Chair of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Luther Seminary and Parish Associate at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she is the author of The Church and the Crisis of Community: A Practical Theology of Small-Group Ministry.

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  1. California
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Well written, but wrong audience
    November 13, 2013
    Dr Nicholson
    California
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute www.desertbibleinstitute.com.

    Deborah Van Deusen Hunsinger and Theresa F. Latini address an important issue in their book Transforming Church Conflict. They look at what it means to work with people and to deal with the predictable conflict that comes about on a daily basis. This book has a great number of useful points that readers should consider. For instance, church leaders should always attempt to transform conflict into something useful rather than transfer it onto someone else. Additionally, I agree with their position that we should try to understand another person's position before attempting to correct the problem. They explain how to do this all with great sensitivity and compassion. That said, I think that this would be an excellent book for leaders of a women's group, provided they weren't operating in a church.

    The book seems to rely heavily on modern psychotherapy principles (not to be confused with true psychological principles). There then seems to be a smattering of spiritualism, Eastern philosophy, and emerging church approaches that make this book suspect at best. While there is certainly the occasional verse thrown in giving the book a Christian feel, most of these references seem to be more thematic than illustrative in nature. Additionally, some of the examples seem to be, if not out of context, slanted to prove the point the authors are trying to make in that section of the book.

    In the end, the book comes across as well-meaning and gentle-spirited, but its theology, and therefore its basis, seems either convoluted or manipulated. The writers are clearly literate and well-educated women that have an honest and heart-felt concern for the women around them, but this book needs a little less C.G. Jung and Siddhartha and a lot more C.S. Lewis and Saul of Tarsus. In a world where the popular theory is to just "coexist", this book is a solid example of social "tolerance" and compromise; but then again, we saw what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thought about compromise.

    Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min.

    Desert Bible Institute, President

    Dr. Nicholson reviews academic, Christian living, and fiction books for a variety of publishers in an array of formats. He is never paid for any of his reviews. He writes these strictly as a courtesy to his students at Desert Bible Institute and for any other readers that might find his insights valuable. For more reviews or information, visit Dr. Nicholson's blog at drtnicholson.wordpress.com.
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