Author Archives: Tara Barthel

About Tara Barthel

Tara Klena Barthel formerly served as the Director of the Institute for Christian Conciliation. As such, she oversaw hundreds of conciliation cases (including conflicted church interventions) through the international network of trained conciliators. Tara also provided oversight and leadership for all advanced conciliator training. Currently, she serves her family as a homemaker while occasionally accepting cases as a mediator, arbitrator, and conflicted church intervention team member. Currently enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary and pursuing her Master's Degree in Religion, Tara consults with businesses and ministries on the legal risk management issues attendant to conflict; designs and presents custom training on biblical conflict resolution for churches, missions agencies, and parachurch organizations; speaks frequently at women’s conferences and retreats; and is currently working on many new writing projects. Tara is the author of the Living the Gospel in Relationships video series and co-author of Peacemaking Women—Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict (Baker Books, 2005), and Redeeming Church Conflicts--Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care (Baker Books, 2012; second imprint Hendrickson Publishers 2016). Prior to moving to Billings, Montana to join the staff of Peacemaker Ministries, Tara worked as an attorney and business consultant in Chicago. Tara earned her law degree and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her B.A. in psychology from Augustana College (Illinois).

“Hope permeates each chapter …”

Thanks for your patience re: our delayed postings as Dave and I are currently a little too busy actually serving churches to blog about it … To tide you over, our gratitude goes out to Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal for … Continue reading

Posted in HOPE in the midst of conflict, Reviews of "Redeeming Church Conflicts"

Battered Pastors with Weary Souls

Rev. Dr. Alfred Poirier’s doctoral dissertation at Westminster Seminary was overseen by Rev. Dr. David Powlison and published by Baker as The Peacemaking Pastor. In it, Pastor Poirier speaks candidly about his exhaustion and frustration related to ongoing struggles with conflict … Continue reading

Posted in Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, HOPE in the midst of conflict, RedeemingLINKS | Leave a comment

When Friends Talk About Us Behind Our Backs

(A re-post from Easter 2014) It is always such a shock to discover friends (real friends!) are talking about us (critically) behind our backs. Sometimes, their motivations really are loving and God-honoring—they are seeking counsel, prayer, and encouragement for how to face a … Continue reading

Posted in Authentic Relationships in the Church, Biblical peacemaking in the church | Leave a comment

Every time I think about my church conflict, all I feel is hopelessness. I just don’t see anything at all to hope in!

Q: Every time I think about my church conflict, all I feel is hopelessness. I just don’t see anything at all to hope in! A. Hope in this: The longest part of our most “real” lives will be lived for … Continue reading

Posted in Excerpts from "Redeeming Church Conflicts"

One Reason Why Your Church is Losing Its Youth: Look at How (Gracelessly!) You Treat One Another

Just as I was posting Dave’s most recent article on “preserving your pastor,” my friend Melodee posted a link to this article on Facebook and I was struck by how much the two overlapped: Reaching Our Young People The article … Continue reading

Posted in Authentic Relationships in the Church, Biblical peacemaking in the church, Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor | 1 Comment

Megan Hill’s Endorsement of “Redeeming Church Conflicts”

Our family has been profoundly blessed by Megan Hill’s book on prayer: Praying Together – The Priority and Privilege of Prayer So I was profoundly blessed by her recent endorsement of Redeeming Church Conflicts (copied below). Thanks so very much, Megan! … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Church conflict often robs us of an accurate, hopeful, God-centered perspective.

(One of my favorite parts of Redeeming Church Conflicts is our introduction to Section 1: Perspective. I have heard and seen Dave minister this message to so many people over the years–especially pastors who were tempted to despair over conflicts in … Continue reading

Posted in Excerpts from "Redeeming Church Conflicts", HOPE in the midst of conflict | Leave a comment

Q. OK. We’re “reconciled.” I guess. But how could we ever trust one another again?

Q. OK. We’re “reconciled.” I guess. But how could we ever trust one another again? A. Trust God. Love People. So how do Christians rebuild trust with one another in the aftermath of church conflict, even if problems have been … Continue reading

Posted in Authentic Relationships in the Church, Biblical peacemaking in the church, Strengthening the Church, Uncategorized

It is naive to deny that professing Christians are quite capable of gossip, innuendo, spin and outright lies when engaged in conflict …

Many thanks to our friend, Dr. Tim Lane (formerly of Westminster/CCEF, currently serving as President of the Institute for Pastoral Care) for his insights and endorsements of Redeeming Church Conflicts: Redeeming Group Conflicts I particularly appreciated this note: “It goes without saying … Continue reading

Posted in RedeemingLINKS | Leave a comment
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