Original Research

Instituting dispute resolution procedures in the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe church

Norman Chivasa
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 52, No 1 | a2285 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v52i1.2285 | © 2018 Norman Chivasa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2017 | Published: 30 January 2018


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Abstract

The need to institute dispute resolution procedures in the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe church informs this study. Remarkably, one of the most critical problems facing the AFM in Zimbabwe church is intrachurch disputes, which manifest in diverse forms such as pastors’ transfers disputes, election disputes and pastors’ performance disputes. Such disputes have produced undesirable consequences not only for pastors but also for the wellbeing of the church in general. Intrachurch disputes require internal mechanisms to manage them so that constructive rather than destructive results are achieved. To do this, internal dispute resolution procedures become critical as they provide a framework for the constructive resolution of disputes. The lived experience of disputes in the AFM in Zimbabwe church confirms the appropriateness of systems theory, which states that social institutions are vulnerable to disharmony owing to differing interacting elements. To mitigate the negative impact associated with disputes, this study proposes the need to institute dispute resolution procedures in the AFM in Zimbabwe, because the church currently relies only on disciplinary procedures to address disputes. The study further emphasises that instituting dispute resolution procedures will help the church handle disputes from within its ranks without necessarily involving local courts, which may have negative financial and relationship implications. Finally, the study develops a model for dispute resolution procedures as an instrument that can assist local churches in AFM in Zimbabwe church to handle disputes as and when they arise.


Keywords

Apostolic Faith Mission; church; dispute resolution procedure; pastor; Zimbabwe

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