Keys to Effective Conflict Resolution (Pt.7)

Mark McCleary
This is the final submission in this seven-part series on conflict and conflict resolution. It would probably be most beneficial to review the previous six submissions before proceeding with this final part.

Wrapping UP

The words “The End” do not indicate a negative termination but rather a point of arrival for participants to transition from the phase of theory to the phase of implementation. They also allow for post-training assessment, which can be valuable for trainers and trainees. Post-assessment is a method for systematically evaluating whether training was relevant and meaningful to the needs of the trainees. This phase of implementation can help fulfill Beebe, et al.’s (2004) idea of need-based training on the back end and for future modifications to existing training plans. It has been my hope that this series has met the minimal standards for quality education and training assessment. Your feedback would inform me whether either of these standards were attained as well as where I might need to make meaningful changes for future implementation.

Conclusions and Recommendations

My purpose in providing this series was to respond to a request and share the basics of conflict, conflict resolution and conflict resolution training to Christian leaders and stakeholders so their knowledge and interest might be increased and, perhaps, their skill level too.

The last two submissions on training reinforced the need for pre-assessment and corresponding training objectives. In other words, training should be designed with the best use of time for trainees. Such design should include concern for the laws of learning—effect, frequency, and association (Beebe, et al., 2004); trainees’ different learning styles—auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (Katz & Lawyer, 1992; Beebe, et al., 2004); and lastly, it should include a post assessment to evaluate the training’s impact, as well as help the trainer better prepare for future implementations.

Pragmatic theory (Ritzer and Goodman, 2004), posits that there is a functional correlation between thought and action. From personal experience, I affirm this explanation of reality in that practice can make perfect what previously was less so with little practice or no practice. In other words, action that works yields validation of what is being done or attempted.

The conflict, conflict resolution, conflict resolution training discussions in the previous six submissions are not hollow concepts for academic theorizing only. Rather, they express and highlight the increasing need for church congregants to learn of their significant presence and impact within the context of church social life. With such learning, congregants, clerical and lay, will be better able to promote a caring atmosphere that encourages interpersonal, intergroup, and intragroup empowerment, recognition, and constructive conflict resolution knowledge and skill.  

These systematic conclusions do not result from an experiment or hypothesis testing. Rather, their logic is more projectural than reported post-impact findings. However, I believe the discussion on training highlights the perpetual need for measuring pedogeological education and skill development. The potential findings from such measuring are the primary reasons training was included as one CCRPTM’s major components.

My autoethnographic journey was not a circumnavigation of academic production, but a symbiotic means for sharing my thoughts and feelings concerning what I have observed and experienced as well as possibly jump start group awareness, acknowledgement, and embracing the wedding of Biblical and social science discourses to help Christian congregants deal constructively with their social conflict problems.

The secondary objective for this series, beyond information, was the discovery and deployment of someone or a small group who will commit to learning more and become ready practitioners of valid procedures for resolving rather than ignoring social conflict within a church setting. Whomsoever that might be, I am willing to assist them towards fulfilling that goal.

In His service,

Dr. Mark A. McCleary



Beebe, S., Mottet, T. P., and Roach, K. D. (2004). Training and development: Enhance communication and leadership skills, Boston, MA: Pearson.

Katz, N. and Lawyer, J. (1992). Communication and conflict resolution skills. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt.

Ritzer, G. and Goodman, D. (2004). Sociological theory. Boston, MA.: McGraw-Hill.

Mark McCleary


Dr. Mark A. McCleary holds both Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and brings with them a passion for conflict management, church renewal and social justice. Having been born in Baltimore, he recently returned to his hometown to pastor the Liberty SDA Church. He is the author of several books including The Gospel Presentation. You can contact him via Facebook or email.

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