Conflict Case Study

PMIN 511 Assignment 4: Conflict Case Study

Situation: (This is not a hypothetical, but a case that represents the facts of actual events that happened some years ago in the life of a couple and their congregation. The names of the couple have been changed for the sake of confidentiality.)

Mary is a 38-year-old Christian woman, married to John, also a Christian and a Navy Petty Officer. They have four children, ranging in age from 3 to 13. After the birth of her youngest child, Mary was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension a very serious and usually terminal illness. Medically, there is no known treatment for this disease that will result in a total cure. The disease progresses and ultimately results in death. Mary’s doctors stated that the only treatment which would prolong her life would be a total lung and heart transplant. The transplant, best case scenario, was that the procedure would allow Mary additional years of life, to be present with her husband and children. Mary and John prayed and counseled with their pastor concerning their decision. They, as well as their pastor, believed in God’s ability and will to heal; believed that a miracle cure was a possibility, and also believed that God is not limited in the ways He heals, but also may use medicine, surgery, nutrition and other means to impact health in a positive way.

John and Mary, their pastor and congregation were all aware of the situation. Although prayer continued for a miraculous healing, it was decided, after much medical consultation, prayer and counsel, to proceed with the surgery. There is a waiting list for transplants, and they all believed God could certainly heal Mary miraculously before the operation.

Most of the congregation supported Mary and John’s decision. However, a small, but vocal minority, were strongly against the surgery and stated their opposition during a congregational meeting. These individuals were good friends of John and Mary and were very concerned that the surgery might fail; that the operation would not necessarily prolong Mary’s life. One of those opposing the surgery based his opinion on a miracle God had performed for his own mother: he believed that “God is no respecter of persons” and would do the same for Mary, as the congregation prayed. These individuals believed that John and Mary should trust in God alone, through prayer and faith, and not submit to the surgery.

However, John and Mary, with the approval and support of their pastor, and the majority of congregational members, proceeded with plans for the operation.


For this case, you will need to place yourself in the position of a pastor that manages this conflict in the life of John, Mary, and the congregation. Respond to the case by carefully answering the following questions. You may answer briefly, but be sure your responses are clear and fully respond to the questions.

This assignment has to be submitted as a PPT in the virtual discussion board in week 7. You also have to respond to two other students’ PPT in a substantive manner in the same discussion board. While designing your PPT, please feel free to add more text and relevant explanation in the notes area provided under each PowerPoint slide.

Case Study Questions:  (A through C and responses)

A. Issues/Needs (Carefully review the above situation, and then define, in order of importance each issue that relates to this conflict. State them as 1, 2, 3, etc., below.) Your answers to all the following may be brief, but have to be clear and understandable.

Pastoral Conflict issues/Needs in Management and/or Resolution:

B. Goals (Based on the issues, briefly state the goals or outcomes needed, as you see them in this situation.)

Pastoral Conflict Management/Resolution Goals:

C. Ministry Process (After stating the issues state below how you, if you had been that pastor, proceed. What is the ministry process; the way you would address each issue? Be sure you state a rationale for each issue: the reason you would address each issue as you have stated. Give biblical support for your rationale in each instance.)

Pastoral Conflict Management/Resolution Process:


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