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Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflicts [Paperback]

By Ron Susek (Author) & D. Kennedy (Foreword by)
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Item description for Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflicts by Ron Susek & D. Kennedy...

According to one survey, as many as one third of all congregations have suffered conflicts severe enough to result in the firing or forced resignation of one or more of their pastors. Ron Susek, who has firsthand experience of the lasting effects of church controversy and has ministered to churches in turmoil, offers a detailed portrait of how events can often spiral out of control--not unlike the flames of a wildfire. Firestorm describes the six successive phases through which conflicts generally pass. In each phase, Susek identifies the tensions that tend to develop, explains how they are compounded if left unresolved, and offers practical, spiritual guidance for pastors and congregational leaders. The book also explains the spiritual, social, and psychological causes of conflict; the most appropriate means for dealing with controversy in its various stages; and what can be done in the firestorm's aftermath to restore faith and hope. A detailed plan of action is included. If you think that God fell into good fortune the day you committed your wonderful leadership skills to his work and that the two of you are building a masterpiece of a church that will stand until the Lord returns, then don't bother reading this book. Enjoy your illusion while it lasts. If, on the other hand, you have been in the ministry long enough to know that your church could blow into a firestorm of conflict despite your best efforts and that it demands a constant vigil to keep the temperature set at spiritually warm, not destructively hot, then this book may be of some assistance.

Publishers Description
Will your church be part of the thirty-three percent unable to spot the kindling of conflict before it flares up and results in the dismissal of a pastor? Firestorm describes the six successive phases of conflict and explains the causes of that conflict, strategies to cope with controversy, and what can be done in the firestorm's aftermath to restore faith and hope.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1999
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  0801090911  
ISBN13  9780801090912  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ron Susek & D. Kennedy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ron Susek is an ordained minister with the North American Baptist Conference. He has pastored three churches and is now director of the Susek Evangelistic Association in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Susek speaks extensively around the world and is the author of Seeing Is Not Believing and You Can Handle Stress.

Ron Susek currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry

Christian Product Categories
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Reviews - What do customers think about Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflicts?

Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflicts  Jan 9, 2007
A tremendous source of insight, wisdom and knowledge to help anyone who has gone through a church split of any kind. This book helped the healing process begin and come to completeness. Praise God!
Very Helpful  Nov 10, 2006
If your church is going through fighting and division, this book will definately help you. First it describes the stages of the "firestorm" and then how to address the issues to bring the church through the destructive battle and begin the healing. Dr. Susek has had a lot of experience leading churches through the process, we even contacted him and he is consulting with us.
Simply Excellent!  Sep 5, 2003
Susek in this volume provides a simply excellent treatment of the vicious, destructive nature of church conflict. In the first part of his work he gives the account of an actual church, describing how the sparks of conflict were scattered, the flames were fanned, and the fierce firestorm was unleashed. While Susek's example is extreme for many churches struggling with lesser issues, the escalation of conflict is basically the same regardless of the scale.

In the second part of his book Susek addresses the various causes of a church firestorm. The third portion offers practical instruction on getting a firestorm under control. The fourth and final section gives suggestions on binding the wounds of the various parties who have been burned by the conflict.

I recommend this title to all pastors. For most of us, it is not a matter of IF we encounter a firestorm in our ministry, but WHEN we will experience one. I also see this book as being very helpful for church leaders who are dealing with conflict situations, regardless of their severity. Susek's work here is well-worth the price, offering healing and hopes for the conflict-scorched congregation.

this book is complete garbage  Jul 30, 2003
Susek takes his own opinions, decorates them with scripture, and passes them off as biblical. He makes poor use of his own examples. He presents churches as being places where the people in the pews can't and shouldn't be trusted, and where pastors are properly suspicious of churchgoers. He measures success in terms of programs, budgets, and attendance, rather than spiritual growth and development.

A good way of reading this book is to look at how he presents aggregates of people: large numbers of people are almost always passive and obedient, and represented positively; smaller groups of people are sometimes good and sometimes bad, depending on whether they agree with the pastor. Individuals are almost always by turns rebellious, disagreeable, and evil.

Despite his title, he never talks about preventing church conflicts. He's like a pathologist; he's only comfortable with patients who are dead and dying.

His views, analysis, and solutions are very pastor-centric: he spends three or four chapters talking about how to treat the pastor's wounds during a church conflict and only one on how to treat the people.

Finally, Susek never asks the right questions: what is a church, and what should it be? That's the only right place to start looking at church conflict, and the only way to begin responding to conflict. Because Susek doesn't do this his analysis is sloppy, ad hoc, wrongheaded, and ultimately unfocused.

A much better view is presented in Jim van Yperen's book Making Peace: a Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict. van Yperen at least asks the right questions.

Help with the Destructive Forces of Out-of-Control Conflict  Feb 15, 2002
The striking title evokes a powerful image of the destructive forces at work when churches are overcome by conflict. Susek, who has first hand experience of the lasting effects of church controversy, traces the stages of conflict and provides practical suggestions for dealing with each phase. The book also includes a detailed plan of action. Susek incorporates a dimension that is missing from many materials on church conflict, that of the spiritual forces of evil that are often at work. The book begins by explaining the six phases of a firestorm and how to recognize the symptoms. Next it presents four pillars of strength that are crucial for healthy churches to have spiritual power, and helps church leaders evaluate themselves in light of those strengths. Special attention is given to how church leaders' family and psycho-social needs may be affecting them too deeply, either helping to create conflicts or hindering effective resolution. The book also helps leaders to assess the presence of a number of other factors that contribute to conflict, such as cultural resistance to authority, rapid church growth, etc. Susek also includes very helpful sections on church discipline, bold spiritual leadership, the use of consultants, care for badly burned church leaders and their families, and the role of interim ministers.

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