April 12-13: Twenty people gathered for two days at Fuller Seminary to participate in the advanced conflict transformation workshop led by Dr. Ron Hammer. The first day focused on examining conflict not only as a personal conflict between people, but understanding the systemic structure behind the problem. Ron’s lecture was unique in that he integrated the family system theory as a tool for conflict transformation which then can be applied to the family and church context. He also introduced Bowen, structure, and communication theory to help us see conflict from multiple perspectives.
On the second day, the participants were encouraged to bring in real case studies from the Korean American Christian community. After Ron went through one case study extensively, the participants broke up into small groups to go through a case study as exemplified by Ron. The majority of the participants commented that the highlight of the two-day workshop was doing the case study and receiving practical feedback from Ron as they played the role of a mediator.
Some of the comments we heard included:
- I have a better understanding of what it means to be a mediator. This workshop helped me to have less anxiety about the role.
- The case study exercise was very practical.
- This kind of workshop should be taken by everyone in ministry.
- It was very new to me to learn that “Issues don’t create conflict; people create conflict”