Serving Church Communities, Clergy, and Leadership Teams

 

“I commend Ted Lewis as a deeply sensitive, insightful, and skilled resource to congregations to help them sort out interpersonal conflict through careful communication. Committed to the wisdom of the Bible, Ted teaches and models healthy conflict management so congregations can more faithfully serve in the Kingdom.”

Sheldon Burkhalter, former conference minister for the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference

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“Ted’s workshop on Servanthood Communication was very impacting, both theologically through his teaching on Philippians 2, as well as his teaching and exercises on conflict and communication patterns. The small group breakouts and large group discussion times were quite helpful for people to leave with more clarity as well as practical tools to use in everyday relationships. We will definitely have Ted come back again!”

Kevin Callaghan, MSW, LICSW

Discipleship Pastor, Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul

 

A. PREVENTION  WORK

1. Workshops / Retreats

A. Servanthood Communication Workshop (also known as Kenotic Communication)

A 2 to 4 hour workshop for church groups that engage biblically-grounded practices of speaking and listening in the context of difficult conversations. A PowerPoint on the Roman context of Paul’s letter to the Philippians sets the stage for how a church community seeks an alternative mindset that is patterned after the descent of Jesus to be a servant for the sake of others. See Sample PowerPoint Slides. Short exercises help to make the themes both personal and practical.  See Servanthood Communication Handout  By the end of the session, participants will have practiced a several communication skills that are Other-Centered and Agape-Driven which they can apply in their daily lives with other people.

B. The Hagar Workshop: Healing Relational Hurts

A 6 to 8 hour workshop for church groups that engage biblical narratives and learn new insights about the interplay of relational healing and spiritual formation. Participants can reflect on their own histories of pain and mistrust without having to openly share current challenges that involve other church members.  Read more…

C. Conflict Transformation Workshop: An Introduction to Conflict and Communication in a Church Community

A 4 to 8 hour workshop for church groups that learn about the basics of conflict through biblical passages and gain some perspectives and skills for dealing with interpersonal conflicts with other people. Numerous exercises allow for deeper learning, and participants will be asked to journal their reflections throughout the workshop.  See Workshop Outline…

 

2. Presentations / Class Lectures

Getting Comfortable With Conflict: A Biblical View of Conflict Transformation            (Also titled, Responding to Conflict with the Mind of Christ)  PDF of Class Worksheet

Philippians for Today: Lessons in Servanthood Communication (with PowerPoint)

What is Restorative Justice? Stories and Basic Principles

Restorative Justice, Restorative Theology, Restorative Church Practices: An Emerging Trinity

The Power of Apology: A Key to Sustaining Healthy Church Cultures

All lectures or group presentations can be tailored for time between 30 minutes and 2 hours, with an average default time of 45 minutes plus 15 minutes for questions and discussion. PowerPoint projector and screen are often requested, along with a blackboard/chalkboard with chalk, or a whiteboard/flip-chart with low-odor markers.

 

B. INTERVENTION WORK

1. Mediation / Facilitation

  • Focused Reconciliation Work (2 to 5 participants)
  • Larger Group Resolution Work (5 to 15 participants)

All intervention work for resolving conflicts and past harms involves a series of preparation meetings prior to joint dialogue meetings. After the initial preparation meetings with all stakeholders, a provisional outline of future meetings is created, accompanied by a forecasted fee schedule for various levels of resolution.

Focused Reconciliation Work is intentionally designed to include the primary players in a church-related conflict who commit to a 6 month process of Listening, Understanding, and Resolving matters. At appropriate times, this group will communicate to the larger body on progress or breakthroughs in resolution and reconciliation. This model recognizes that all church conflicts are situated within larger ‘family systems’ of patterned relationship dynamics, but intentionally brackets off the larger (and deeper) issues to build toward a manageable success experience for those at the core of a conflict. Thereafter, considerations can be made for secondary resolution processes that engage larger circles of people or broader issues.

 

2. Leadership Team Consultation

Pre-Process Consultation

This work provides in-person or phone guidance to church leadership teams who are shaping resolution processes that they will actively participate in, generally not as parties to a conflict but rather as supporters of a conflict resolution plan.

 

C. POST-INCIDENT HEALING WORK

1. Listening Sessions

  • Listening Sessions for Individuals/Couples
  • Listening Sessions for Groups

Listening Sessions are designed for people who have experienced any type of loss or impact from past relational conflicts or sudden tragedies, and are finding it hard to journey forward through a forgiveness or healing process. One to three hour sessions can be scheduled, and these can be repeated over time. Deep listening includes responses of validation and empathy, as well as conflict coaching for ways to move forward. For cases requiring additional levels of therapy, I would be recommending other counseling services and informing pastoral staff of my recommendations.

 

2. Remote Reconciliation

The Onesimus-Philemon Project – guided letter writing for post-conflict forgiveness and relational healing

 

3. Healing Circles

Grieving Circle — Group Processing for tragic losses or lingering past hurts. Facilitation and circle keeper services provided.

 

Fee Arrangements:

All payment arrangements are made for each situation and projected ahead of time. Payments can be made after services are delivered. Hourly rates do not include expenses for travel and lodging when those factors apply.

Hourly Rates:

Prevention and Intervention work with groups  $100

Post-Incident Healing, Preparation Meetings, and Consultation work  $50

Logistical Planning and Communications  $25

In certain situations, fee amounts can be negotiated.