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Church Crisis Intervention
Church Risk Management
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My professional services are concentrated in four general areas:  

Church Crisis Intervention

When a situation occurs that threatens church safety, security, and stability, I offer immediate practical assistance to church leaders. Through coaching, consultation and even on-site intervention and trouble shooting, I provide training, experience and strategic guidance to support church leaders in effectively responding to urgent needs, ensuring that no further preventable damage or loss occurs, and successfully navigating the phases of crisis and dealing with both anticipated and unanticipated ramifications of the crisis situation.  

Whether the crisis involves critical incident debriefing, responding to allegations of clergy misconduct, intervening in domestic violence or child abuse, or dealing with natural disasters, I can help you obtain the information, resources and support you need to successfully resolve the challenges it presents.   

Church Risk Management

Churches and church leaders are often unaware of the community standards and expectations by which they will be judged if abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable other by a church staff member, leader, teacher or volunteer occurs. While they know that protection and prevention are important, they may be unsure what steps are reasonable, prudent and appropriate.

I offer a basic prevention package that includes on-site training for all church staff members, ministers, leaders and teachers in protection of vulnerable others, relevant reporting requirements (including state-specific legal mandates), considerations in responding to allegations of abuse or misconduct, dealing with crisis situations effectively, and establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries in church ministry.

Additional training topics and programs and professional consultation are also available.

Mediation

As a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil/Family Mediator, I am  available to assist parties in resolving disputes related to either family or civil matters through a process of mediation.

Mediation is a voluntary, cooperative process in which the parties work on resolving their own disputes, without going to court, with the assistance of a trained and impartial mediator. The mediator serves as a guide to the parties during the mediation session, helping them communicate effectively, define issues, generate alternatives, explore consequences, and reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. The mediator does not make decisions or create agreements for the parties; the parties are responsible for developing their own agreement.

The most significant difference between mediation and litigation is that the mediation process gives the parties involved in the dispute complete control of the outcome. In short, the power of mediation rests in the hands of the parties themselves - if the parties involved are willing to be creative, open-minded and committed to reaching a resolution, mediation can resolve serious and long-standing disputes in a matter of hours.

Training and Consultation

I regularly conduct workshops, seminars and continuing education courses for churches, businesses, educational institutions and professional associations, providing training and consultation in the areas of professional ethics and risk management, family and community ministry, and conflict resolution. I am endorsed by many professional associations as an approved provider of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) required for professional licensure renewal.

I can also design and deliver customized training programs and workshops that meet the unique needs of your church, agency, school or other organization and will engage, inspire and motivate participants. 


From Stan Granberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of Kairos Church Planting.

"Linda Oxford offers experienced, professional services for integrity and relationship safety concerns for churches."

"Linda has helped Kairos Church Planting develop integrity support structures we feel are critical for the new churches with which we work."



From Jim Harbin, recent Executive Director of Memphis Urban Ministry and minister of Raleigh Community Church of Christ.  

"Through working as the minister of a local church and serving the poor through compassionate outreach I have learned that a knowledgeable consultant in risk management and crisis intervention is invaluable.  The church and nonprofit ministries require consultation from someone who has the skills to help a church and ministry navigate these complex issues.  Linda has assisted both Raleigh Community Church of Christ and Memphis Urban Ministry for about twelve years."   

"Linda has provided consultation for assessing the relationship health of the church by training leaders in effective ways to identify and address the needs and concerns of the membership. Her consultation to our church leaders has also included how to successfully respond to crises and develop and implement strategies for risk management and protection of vulnerable others."  

"Linda has also used her profession to help churches and church leaders better serve the poor in a variety of capacities. She has often been a telephone “life line” in emergency situations when urgent needs are pressing and immediate action is required to help those in poverty manage crises in their lives."  

"I fully endorse Linda’s risk management, crisis intervention, and consulting services."



From Evertt Huffard, Ph.D., Professor of Missiology and Vice President/Dean of Harding University Graduate School of Religion.

"Teaching leadership at the graduate level, consulting with churches, and serving as an elder in a large church have convinced me that leading churches today requires skills that most of us do not get naturally from leading our own nuclear family."

"Churches and life are too complex. Threats to our spiritual health increase constantly. The complexity of relationships and stresses of life add to the challenges of leading churches and the potential to make simplistic or gut-level decisions in times of crisis that can make things even worse."

"I have had several opportunities to work with Linda Oxford in crisis situations. She brings a very level-headed, well-informed approach to risk management in churches. A few of her presentations could spare a churches years of unnecessary grief and litigation. She has been a faithful participant in the life of the church and loves the church."

"I recommend her crisis intervention, risk management, training and consulting services without reservation."


From Rodney Plunket, Ph.D., Senior Minster at the Church of Christ at White Station in Memphis, TN.

“Linda Oxford has worked with our leadership team (elders & ministry team members) to address significant issues in the life of this church. She has helped inform and train us relative to crisis intervention, risk management and the protection of vulnerable others, and conflict resolution."  

"She also has met with us as a consultant when we were facing events that required wise counsel, and she has supplied that wise counsel. Linda's value is immeasurable. She is an incredible blessing. I recommend her services to all churches without reservation.”


From Harold Shank, Ph. D., President of Ohio Valley University, national spokesperson for Christian childcare which is an outreach of Christian Child and Family Services Association, and Book Review Editor for The Christian Chronicle, a newspaper with a circulation of over 125,000.

"Ministry is always a matter of partnership.  Church leaders face a diverse and substantial number of challenges both within their own congregational community, but also as they serve the larger neighborhood community.  Leaders depend on partnerships."

"Linda Oxford is one of those partners.   She has the rare skill that enables her to become a full player in the challenges faced by local churches.  With insight into leadership issues, with experience in crisis intervention, with astute analysis of the impending issue and with clear prognosis on a course of action, Linda brings a substantial professional ability to nearly any situation."  

"On numerous occasions during my 32 years of full time church ministry, I called on Linda for assistance and direction.  Whether it was simply a professional consult on a counseling situation, putting together a team to manage a crisis, or simply planning events to create healthy individuals and families, Linda was a ready participant with helpful direction and dependable insight."   

"Ministry is always about partnership.   Linda Oxford has been a valuable partner on whom I have depended."

From Eddie White, Pulpit Minister, South Baton Rouge Church of Christ.

"Linda spent a weekend with our congregation, providing education and consultation in crisis response and prevention in the area of sexual misconduct within the congregational setting. In addition to consultation with church leaders, she led a church-wide seminar, small group discussions, and one-on-one sessions."

"Linda is a practical, engaging and well-educated speaker, is obviously gifted by God, and provides a wonderful blend of spiritual and professional help."

"Not only was Linda instrumental in helping our church through a crisis, but helped us become better equipped in crisis response and prevention.  Through her assistance, we improved and updated our church manual and policies, implemented a better system of accountability, and put in place an annual training and prevention workshop for church leaders and members."   

"Based upon our experience with Linda’s services to our church family, I highly recommend her.  She serves a vital role in the kingdom of God."


From Anthony Wood, D. Min., a veteran urban minister with over 20 years experience in the inner city culture. Dr. Wood currently works with River City Ministry in North Little Rock, AR.

"Linda is a minister to ministers, helping them to "continue on" when faced with overwhelmingly difficult and often extreme struggles. She effectively uses her gifts to bring peace and restoration in situations in which crisis and conflict management skills are needed, whether with individuals, ministry groups, or congregations."  

"I have served alongside Linda in various ministry settings for over fifteen years and have witnessed her effective leadership in crisis situations, her focus on protecting and healing vulnerable persons, and her care in helping to heal those who have wounded others. Whether in a large church of eighteen hundred or a small inner city church of fifty, Linda offers her talents to help bring people together into healthy and productive community."

 
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