Author Archives: David V. Edling

About David V. Edling

Dave Edling is an experienced Christian conciliator who has worked with many conflicted churches. During his decade of service on the senior staff of Peacemaker Ministries, he participated in over 200 mediation and arbitration cases and worked with nearly twenty thousand Christians engaged in conflicts affecting churches of almost every denomination. Dave holds several graduate degrees in addition to his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University. They are: Master of Arts in Human Behavior, United States International University (now Alliant International University); Juris Doctor, California Western School of Law; Master of Arts in Religion, Westminster Seminary California; and Master of Arts in Biblical Conflict Resolution, Birmingham Theological Seminary. Dave has served as a trustee on the Board of Directors for Covenant College and Westminster Seminary California and has taught in the Doctor of Ministry programs for Reformed Theological Seminary, Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. In addition, Dave has been a lecturer in practical theology for several other Christian colleges and seminaries.

There are people in the church who have been in the church so long they have forgotten they are hypocrites.

Tara often does Q&A’s at her events and one question she hears a lot is: How can I help a person see and confess their sin that has become a barrier to our relationship? In a previous blog, I responded … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, Confrontation, Spiritual Blindness, Uncategorized

Inconsistency Reveals Deception–Especially in Church Conflicts

Q. Has there been one key similarity or common characteristic you have noticed about how Christians typically respond to conflicts in their churches? A. While always difficult to name just one dynamic given the complexity of church conflict, yes, I … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, Causes of Church Conflict

“It was like being in Hell with instructions!”

I have been writing this week, but it hasn’t been for this website. Rather, my efforts have been directed at writing a requested review of a new book for The Gospel Coalition. So, I was thinking of just taking the … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church | 2 Comments

How to Fire Your Pastor (Part 3 of 3)

Q. Sometimes, even in a mature church, a time comes when a servant-shepherd pastor must be let go. In this situation, how should the pastor and his family, and the other church leaders and members respond so that they can … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, Excerpts from "Redeeming Church Conflicts", How to Fire Your Pastor

How to Fire Your Pastor (Part 2 of 3)

If you’ve read last week’s blog, “How to Fire Your Pastor — Part 1,” then you know that its content only applies when the pastor is best characterized as a “hired-hand” (see John 10:12-13). In contrast, today’s post addresses the … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, Causes of Church Conflict, Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, Confrontation, How to Fire Your Pastor

How to Fire Your Pastor (Part 1 of 3)

Q. Getting rid of a pastor can cause a lot of conflict. What should be happening for both the pastor and other church leaders and members when everyone is figuring out if the pastor should be let go? How should … Continue reading

Posted in Causes of Church Conflict, Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, Confrontation, How to Fire Your Pastor | 4 Comments

In Church Conflict (as in War), The Malice of the Wicked is Reinforced by the Weakness of the Virtuous

Over the holidays, I began reading Winston Churchill’s Memoirs of the Second World War (the abridged version not knowing if I would live long enough to read his entire six volume set!).  In one of the opening paragraphs Churchill writes … Continue reading

Posted in Abusive churches, Causes of Church Conflict, Conflicts involving church leaders, Confrontation, Excerpts from "Redeeming Church Conflicts", Postmodern Relativism and Church Conflict

What should we do when our church’s leadership is boldly rewarding and promoting their own “inner circle”?

Q: We have all heard of “cliques” in the church, but what should one do when it becomes obvious that the church’s leadership culture boldly rewards, acknowledges, and promotes their own elite “inner circle?” This is occurring while at the … Continue reading

Posted in Abusive churches, Uncategorized

What do pastors in conflicted churches need the most?

Q. When pastors in conflicted churches call you, what do they need the most? Is there a certain piece of advice or Scripture passage that you always end up giving them? A. A pastor tensely (and loudly) said, “You just don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, HOPE in the midst of conflict | 2 Comments

When Change Seems Unlikely in Church Conflicts

Tara has suggested to me that we present a short series of stories of hope—positive experiences we have had when working with churches in conflict. The aim of such a series, of course, would be to reveal God’s faithfulness to … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical peacemaking in the church, Church discipline, Conflicts involving church leaders, HOPE in the midst of conflict