Types of Parties

There are three types of parties:

  • Primary parties are people whose participation is necessary for full and complete resolution of the conflicts.
  • Secondary parties are people who are influential in seeing conflicts resolved and relationships reconciled, and whose participation is very important but not absolutely necessary.
  • Tertiary parties are people who are either not parties to the conflict but who can help promote future peacemaking, or people whose conflicts can be addressed after the face-to-face conciliation process. Their participation is not deemed to be absolutely necessary.

There are several types of non-parties:

  • Care Team Members are individuals who work collaboratively as a team to provide ongoing conciliation services to all of the parties for a period of up to 12 months.
  • Pastors or church officials are individuals whose participation in a conciliation process is relevant to successful resolution of the issues. These church leaders are also in a position to provide gracious discipline if reconciliation efforts break down or are not successful.
  • Attorneys are individuals whose participation in a mediation helps guide the resolution of substantive and material issues that require legal intervention.
  • Counselors are individuals who participate to gain a greater understanding of their client’s heart issues so that, following the mediation, they can be more effective in promoting greater self-awareness, repentance, and transformation.
  • Observers are individuals whose participation is not critical to resolving issues, but whose participation would be helpful for training purposes so that future steps can be taken to prevent conflict or resolve organizational issues that have contributed to the conflicts.


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