Author Archives: Tara Barthel

About Tara Barthel

Tara Barthel has served as a Christian mediator for over twenty years. She also maintains her license to practice law in the state of Illinois, formerly focused on high net worth (charitable) estate planning. Tara teaches conflict engagement at the college level and speaks internationally on the topics of redeeming conflict, trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Tara continues to write for publication and occasionally accepts Christian mediation, arbitration, and conflicted organization cases. In addition, she is healing from her recent sexual assault (in 2014) and her trauma-filled childhood (9/10 ACES). Tara is the author of the peacemaking women’s video series "Living the Gospel in Relationships,” the ASL-translated women’s video series "Becoming Who You Already Are," and the co-author of the books "Peacemaking Women" and "Redeeming Church Conflicts.” Tara also enjoys teaching young adults Philosophy of Theology and Rhetoric. Tara earned her law degree, with honors, and her M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Augustana College (Illinois). Currently working towards her second Master’s degree, Tara has been married to her husband, Fred, for over twenty-five years and they have two daughters and a very friendly Golden Retriever. To learn more about Tara Klena Barthel, please visit her website: www.tarabarthel.com or her public facebook page @tarabarthel.

There is a kind of frozen helplessness in our church conflict …

(Dave is actually intervening in a conflicted church this week, so I thought I’d pitch-hit with some older posts from  my personal blog. Hope you enjoy! Blessings—tkb) There is so much wisdom in this brief book: The Heart of a Servant … Continue reading

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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

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Twenty Years Without an Apology

I heard from a friend this week (after she had made an apology to a pastor and asked his forgiveness) that the pastor was gracious, forgiving, and VERY surprised/grateful. Why surprised? Why grateful? Because, you see, as he explained: He had served in … Continue reading

Posted in Authentic Relationships in the Church, Biblical peacemaking in the church, Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, Strengthening the Church | Comments Off on Twenty Years Without an Apology

Child Abuse in the Church: Justice Can Be Grace

Since I linked over to it in today’s post on my personal blog, I thought I would share this post with you too: Child Abuse in the Church: Justice Can Be Grace Not only is this an extraordinarily important topic … Continue reading

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I don’t understand what one person could possibly do to help in this midst of this terrible church conflict!

Q: I don’t understand what one person could possibly do to help in the midst of this terrible church conflict! A. You can be God’s instrument in redeeming your church’s conflicts by humbly depending on the Holy Spirit and following … Continue reading

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“Helping entrenched people is what we do and who we are.” (Pastor Whipple of Kossuth Street Baptist Church)

Dave and I were blessed to read an endorsement of “Redeeming Church Conflicts” by Pastor Whipple of Kossuth Street Baptist Church in Lafayette, Indiana. I especially appreciated Pastor Whipple’s encouragement for his church members to be prepared to redeem conflict (since it … Continue reading

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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