You Don't Have to Dread Conflict
Every church will experience conflict at some point. But it doesn't have to destroy you. In fact, conflict can be an incredible opportunity, if you know how to seize it. Unfortunately, very few churches use the opportunity well, but your church can.
Michael Hare, PhD, has been helping churches recover (and even grow) from conflict for over 20 years, and now he can help you too. Learn:
With copious case studies and practical tools, you'll find it's surprisingly manageable to develop these new skills. Learn to lead confidently in the face of conflict and invest in your church's future today.
PLUS! Additional Resources in the back include:
"I enthusiastically endorse this book and welcome it as a valuable addition to the growing stable of peacemaking resources!"
"Few things break God's heart more, and cause the hosts of hell to rejoice more, than conflict among His followers. My friend Mike Hare is well-qualified to prepare church leaders with practical intervention strategies (brought to life by case stories) that enable us to anticipate, analyze, and resolve conflict, moving step-by-step through processes that result in unity and blessing."
Praise for When Church Conflict Happens
“Dr. Michael Hare's new book is a carefully crafted study of the role of conflict in churches. One of the greatest tragedies in our churches is the massive destruction brought about by poorly handled conflict. Too often, there is an explosion resulting in an implosion that leaves the congregation and leadership reeling with hurt, disillusionment, and even doubting or abandoning their faith. Dr. Hare debunks the myth that all conflict is negative and helps the reader see it as an opportunity and challenge for skillfully designed growth. Moreover, he does not leave us with only understanding conflict, he provides us with a model, and a workbook for implementation and team building. This is an important book filled with new hope and opportunities for transformational change. I highly recommend it!”
Director of Conflict Resolution Studies at Nova Southeastern University
“Conflict! Few like it; many ignore it; most misunderstand it. Yet, when church leaders look to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and engage in healthy practices, it is a golden opportunity for transformative growth. When Church Conflict Happens shows you how to redeem conflict in your church for God's glory.”
—GARY L. MCINTOSH
Writer, speaker, and professor, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“It is a pleasure to recommend Michael Hare's work When Church Conflict Happens. While there is much in print about conflict, I found Michael's treatment to be a refreshing balance of comprehensive textbook-level help and highly engaging, readable narrative. Best suited for local church leadership, you can either use this book as a “how to” in walking through a present situation or as a proactive and amplified guide to launch an army of people trained to handle conflicts of any type. Probably most helpful for me was a surprisingly simple mix of new vocabulary and a categorical grid which that lets you make sense of any conflict. Michael has translated his years of pastoral experience and conflict consultation into a well-written gift to the church. Nicely done!”
District Superintendent, EFCA West
“In When Church Conflict Happens Michael Hare provides a valuable contribution to the understanding of conflict in churches and a biblically rooted approaches to addressing them. Michael eloquently articulates the need to identify the root causes of conflicts, provides numerous case examples, and suggests specific skills to address them. This book is invaluable for all church leaders looking to address conflict constructively and to create an environment where “healthy” conflict is used for creation and growth.”
Principal, CDR Associate
“Do you want to change congregational conflict into a transformative experience? Dr. Hare shows you how with systemic analysis and interventional processes. His work is anchored in Scripture and laced with real examples.”
Author of Working Together: Collaborative Communication Skills
CEO, Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc.
“When Church Conflict Happens is a timely practical guidebook for pastors and church communities seeking to wage differences constructively to achieve win-win outcomes. Dr. Mike Hare's wonderful new book points out that while conflict is functional and healthy, church leaders and their flocks need appropriate conflict-resolution tools embedded in Scripture to transform disputes into peaceful outcomes that work for the betterment of local communities. This is a must-read book for those interested in resolving conflicts constructively within religious congregations.”
Founding director of the Peace and Conflict Studies graduate program (2005-2014),
and founding director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice (2003-2018) at the University of Manitoba
“Few things break God's heart more, and cause the hosts of hell to rejoice more, than conflict among His followers. Conflict in the church is normal, inevitable, and often, necessary—but it doesn't have to end in failure. It's been said that in the Chinese language, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. Conflict truly can be an opportunity for redemption, growth, and transformation. You hold in your hands a very important kingdom book. My friend Mike Hare is well-qualified to prepare church leaders with practical intervention strategies (brought to life by case stories) that enable us to anticipate, analyze, and resolve conflict, moving step-by-step through processes that result in unity and blessing. And even in those instances when a congregation is ultimately unable to prevail, the goal should still be to do the work required for the healing of relationships that allows us to honor God and finish well.”
—DR. WESS STAFFORD
President Emeritus, Compassion International Author of Too Small to Ignore and Just a Minute
“For more than twenty years Mike pastored churches that had been decimated by conflict, guiding them through healing and restoration to growth. Seeing that most of the devastation these churches had suffered could have been prevented inspired Mike to return to school to earn a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with his research and dissertation focusing on church conflict. As a church consultant I have often walked alongside churches reeling from unhealthy conflict, but this work takes its toll on me. Mike is that rare person who is not only unusually gifted at this work but also energized by it. As I've heard him say more than once, “I never heard of a train wreck that I didn't want to go see.”
In this book Mike distills the principles he has learned and practical skills he has honed through decades of ministry as a pastor, professional mediator, and church consultant helping churches transform painful conflict into a catalyst for healing and transformation.”
CEO and Senior Consultant, Living Stones Associates
“Most pastors receive little or no training in conflict resolution. And yet conflict is a part of even healthy relationships and thus is part of every church. In When Church Conflict Happens, Michael Hare masterfully shows readers how to identify the root cause of conflict and how to respond to each type of conflict in a healthy, godly way. (That alone is worth the price of the book.) It shows how to be proactive in avoiding unnecessary conflict and also how to react, identifying root causes to conflict and sustainable solutions. He sorts conflict into five basic categories and guides through next steps towards finding a healthy solution for each category. Michael then gives multiple practical examples to illustrate each type of conflict and gives the reader opportunities to practice their conflict resolution skills through those examples. If your church is not currently in conflict, I would encourage you to praise God for that and read this book before conflict breaks out. It will give you wisdom and insight to lead and quite possibly prevent the conflict from occurring. If your church is experiencing conflict, I would encourage you to read this book to learn how to resolve the conflict and grow from it. When Church Conflict Happens is easy to read and is a great resource for any pastor. I'm excited to see the eternal impact God brings from this book as churches model godly resolution in the midst of conflict.”
Lead Pastor West Evangelical Free Church