Shalom Team Support
What are Shalom Teams?
Throughout its 300-year history, the Church of the Brethren has sought to live in faithful Christian discipleship, including seeking faithful resolution to conflict. In 1977, the Church of the Brethren decided to form committees within districts (regions of congregations) to be of service in the peacemaking process. These committees served as a concrete expression of the Matthew 18 passage on conflict resolution, and provided a framework for addressing conflict within the church.
Since 2002, these committees have come to be known as Shalom Teams, with the purpose of “empowering congregations, and districts, to maintain and enhance healthy relationships and to deal creatively with brokenness in its earliest stages.”
The four main functions of Shalom Teams are these:
- Consult- Availability for timely consultation when a conflict arises that hinders, or threatens to hinder, well-being and wholeness. “Consultation will involve active listening, prayer, and discernment.”
- Assess- Help parties identify needs, name the brokenness, and work toward next steps, including providing resources.
- Educate-Host and organize training events using resources such as On Earth Peace’s Ministry of Reconciliation. This includes diversity training, prevention skills, competency in conflict transformation, and systems theory.
- Mentor- Shalom Teams will identify and mentor people in their district who demonstrate skills in Shalom Team qualifications, and will call others forth to peacemaking leadership.
Shalom Teams imply that the church is a community together, that we are called to respond to conflict in ways that forward Shalom. They meet the concrete need of preventing division and violence within the church, and, at their best, serve as an example to other community groups and denominations on how to address interpersonal and structural conflict within the church.
How is On Earth Peace Involved?
On Earth Peace’s Ministry of Reconciliation is listed as a resource to Shalom Team members, and we are commonly identified as the go-to for training and support in peacemaking ministry within the Church of the Brethren.
In addition to providing facilitation and consultation to Church of the Brethren districts or other groups interested in forming a Shalom Team, the Ministry of Reconciliation is prepared to provide training in each of the required competencies outlined in the 2002 Shalom Team Statement:
- Listening skills
- Basic conflict-resolution skills
- Systems theory
- Group facilitation
- Multicultural issues
- Organizational and congregational dynamics
- Knowledge of Church of the Brethren agency resources
In the Ministry of Reconciliation’s history of providing workshops and consultation, we have heard time and time again that the skills gained by participants are not only helpful in their roles within congregations, but in their homes, work and wider communities as well. By offering training and consultation we are not only building up Shalom Teams within the Church of the Brethren, but also peacemaking leaders who are serving in a variety of capacities.
For more information contact the Ministry of Reconciliation.
- Young Peacebuilders
- Social Change