All Articles & True Stories

9-11 Warns Us: Don’t Wait to Make Peace
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. On the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Ken writes a challenging article on the danger of waiting to seek reconciliation with a loved one.

A Better Way to Handle Abuse
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. Ken shares some timely insights in this article on how best to address the issue of sexual abuse in the church.

A Case for Reconciliation
A group of Christians gets the help they  need from the ICC to get back on the road to reconciliation.

A Conciliator’s Prayer
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. A prayer that captures the heart of a peacemaker.

A Time to Confront
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. In this article, Ken introduces the basic principles of biblical peacemaking through the story of a real-life conflict between two teachers.

Accountability:The Mark of a Wise and Protected Leader
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. Every year hundreds of churches and ministries are thrown into turmoil when someone criticizes or raises serious questions about the conduct of a pastor or ministry executive. In this article, Ken Sande discusses the best way to provide church leaders with loving accountability.

ACSI – Binding Arbitration Agreements That Work
by Burt Carney, ACSI Director, Legal/Legislative Issues. In the context of using a “Christian conciliation clause” in Christian school employment contracts, this article (the most recent on the topic from ACSI) gives a summary of the impact of recent court cases, other factors to consider in using such agreements, and the recommended language for contracts.

ACSI – Conciliation/Arbitration Agreements: A Case Study
by Burt Carney, ACSI Director, Legal/Legislative Issues. In this article, Burt gives a real life example of use of a conciliation agreement in a Christian school employment contract.

ACSI – Mediation/Arbitration Clause Update
This article aimed at Christian school administrators includes the definition of the important terms used in the discussion of conciliation clauses as well as other considerations in using these clauses in contracts.

ACSI – The Matthew 18 Principle for Solving School Problems
by Dr. Paul A. Kienel, former president of Association of Christian Schools International. A thoughtful article on the application of the peacemaking principles found in Matthew 18 to Christian school administration.

All I Want for Christmas… is a Peaceful Family!
by Annette Friesen. In this article, Annette discusses the misguided expectations that often accompany the holidays, and then introduces three helpful responses to conflict.

An Environment of Forgiveness
by Jennifer Boll. There is great power in forgiveness—it releases us from the guilt of sin and makes way for reconciled relationships. Therefore, our churches, schools, and homes should be marked by an environment where forgiveness is readily encouraged and demonstrated. This story shows the impact of having that environment in one second grade classroom.

Answering The Call to Peacemaking
by Chip Zimmer, Director of International Ministries. Chip answers the question, “How do I become a peacemaker?” by providing practical advice to begin a lifestyle ministry as a peacemaker.

Approachability: The Passport to Real Ministry and Leadership
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. Many pastors have extraordinary gifts in areas of preaching and teaching, yet struggle to connect personally and gain the trust of their church members. In this article, Ken Sande unpacks the issue of approachability and how to cultivate it as a church leader.

Asking for Correction
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article challenges us to ask people we trust to tell us the truth about ourselves—to help us grow to be more like Christ.

Asking for Correction – Letters that Seek Godly Help
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article contains two sample letters, one to a friend and one to a co-worker. These letters invite others you trust to give an honest assessment of yourself. (This article supports the Asking for Correction article.)

Being Equally Yoked
by D. Wayne Myrick. As a business owner who works frequently with churches, contractors, and other professionals, Wayne shares his insights related to resolving (and avoiding) conflicts in business relationships.

Bringing Peacemaking To Your Church
by Chip Zimmer, Director of International Ministries. The church plays a vital role in God’s design for peacemaking. This article discusses how you can help your church begin living up to God’s high calling.

Can the Church Be A Peacemaking Forum?
by David V. Edling, Jeffrey Dodd, and Molly Routson. This article makes the case that according to Scripture, the church, in fact, must be a peacemaking forum.

Caring Enough to Confront
by Donald L. Bubna. This article gives a brief overview of the approach and purpose of biblical church discipline.

Charitable Judgments: An Antidote to Judging Others
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. As we interact with other people, we must constantly make judgments about their words and actions so that we can respond to them appropriately. But the Bible warns that we are prone to look for the worst in people at times, and we judge them more critically than they deserve. In this article, Ken Sande provides practical ways to guard against this tendency and to follow Jesus’ example of making accurate and charitable judgments about others.

Children Can Be Peacemakers
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article gives a helpful introduction on how to raise our own children to be peacemakers.

Christian Conciliation: An Alternative to Ordinary ADR – Part 1
by Glenn G. Waddell and Judith M. Keegan. Originally published in the Cumberland Law Review, this article provides a scholarly overview of Christian Conciliation from the legal perspective. (This article is long, so it has been divided into three parts. This is part 1.)

Christian Conciliation: An Alternative to Ordinary ADR – Part 2
by Glenn G. Waddell and Judith M. Keegan. Originally published in the Cumberland Law Review, this is a scholarly look at Christian Conciliation from a legal perspective. (This article is long, so it has been divided into three parts. This is part 2)

Christian Conciliation: An Alternative to Ordinary ADR – Part 3
by Glenn G. Waddell and Judith M. Keegan. Originally published in the Cumberland Law Review, this article is a scholarly look at Christian Conciliation from a legal perspective. (This article is long, so it has been divided into three parts. This is the last part.)

Competition or Community? A Story of Peacemaking in Papua New Guinea
by Molly Routson, Assistant to the Director of International Ministries.  Who gets the building when a church splits?  What if it wasn’t their building to begin with — who has the right to continue using the facility?  Two churches in Papua New Guinea recently faced this very dilemma, and the pastors were gridlocked in conflict as they tried to protect their congregations’ rights to the building.  But with the help of peacemaker Mick Bandy, these pastors learned to channel their leadership energies toward a peaceful solution that would model God’s reconciling power for their congregations and their community.

Conciliation Clauses and Insurance Coverage for Schools and other Christian Ministries
by Gary D. Friesen, Executive VP for Peacemaker Ministries. An article on issues related to the use of conciliation clauses and their impact on insurability.

Conflict an Opportunity? I Hate Conflict!
by Ted Kober. A summary of the basic principles of biblical peacemaking, complete with real-life stories.

Conflict Provides Opportunities!
by Gary D. Friesen. This article is a parable about conflict, communicating how the turning point in conflict usually comes when individuals take responsibility for their own actions through repentance, confession and forgiveness.

Counseling the Church in Conflict
by David V. Edling, Senior Ministry Consultant, Peacemaker Ministries. This article gives wise counsel and a foundation for action to pastors and mediators who are in the midst of church conflict.

Cultural Renewal – The Church’s Responsibility
by David V. Edling, Senior Ministry Consultant, Peacemaker Ministries. How does a church follow the biblical admonition to be in the world but not of it? One way to address the culture within the church is to be intentional about how it prepares for and handles conflict.

Curse or Consecrate: Two Ways for Christians to View a Conflict
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. When faced with the conflicts and struggles of life, we are faced with a choice, just as the Apostle Paul was. Will we curse those struggles or consecrate them?

God, Conflict, and Zealous Advocacy
by David D. Schlachter, Director of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (a division of Peacemaker Ministries).  Aimed at Christian attorneys, this article considers how to understand and apply dispute resolution from a biblical viewpoint.

Hiding God’s Word in Your Heart
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article not only discusses the relevance and importance of Scripture memory, but also gives a practical plan for incorporating it into your life.

Home School Ambassadors
by Annette Friesen, Home School Specialist for Peacemaker Ministries. Relationship struggles are often a part of the home school experience. In this article, Annette Friesen discusses God’s purpose for our relationships—to be ambassadors of the message of reconciliation.

Hope for Troubled Marriages
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. Do you think that your marriage is beyond hope? In this article, Ken Sande reminds us in this article of the power of God to raise dead marriages to life.

How Churches Can Preserve and Heal Marriages
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. Drawn from a chapter Ken Sande wrote for the book Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood, this article encourages pastors and layleaders to rescue their people from divorce by exercising loving, restorative church discipline.

How We Treat Each Other in the Church
by Ted Kober. While this article’s original purpose was to speak to the root causes of conflict within a specific denomination, it also applies to anyone who wants to see the church—the bride of Christ—healed of unresolved conflict.

Is it a Time for War or a Time for Peace?
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. In this article, Ken Sande shares his thoughts on what our response as Christians and peacemakers should be to the events on and after September 11, 2001.

It Only Takes a Spark: Managing Conflict in Christian Camps & Conferences
by Dean Ridings. An article containing engaging stories and thoughtful considerations related to conflict in the Christian camp and conference setting.

Keeping the Peace – Writing E-mail that will not Stir up Conflict
by Carolyn McCulley. Based on an interview with Ken Sande, this article gives practical advice for communicating via email in a way that is clear and that prevents conflict.

Lawsuits in the Church
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article points out the dangers that lawsuits pose to churches today, and gives specific actions that churches can take to protect themselves.

Love and Respect in Marriage
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article is a helpful study of the scriptural principles surrounding the role relationship of husbands and wives.

Peace on Earth Spring 07 Articles
Complete articles as introduced in the Spring 2007 Peace On Earth.

Peace-breakers, Peace-fakers, and Peacemakers
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. An article discussing the ways we typically respond to conflict and how we can learn to respond to conflict in a biblical manner.

Peacemaking and Home Schooling
by Annette Friesen, Home School Specialist for Peacemaker Ministries. This article introduces the concept of peacemaking, especially in the context of the family and homeschooling.

Peacemaking Can Preserve Staff, Money, and Mission
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article outlines four basic steps that every Christian business or ministry should consider—for their own good and for the good of the Kingdom.

Peacemaking: A Key to Socializing Children
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. How is it that children learn to get along with each other? The same way as adults—by learning to be a peacemaker!

Polemic Theology – How to Deal with Those who Differ from Us
by Dr. Roger R. Nicole, Visiting Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary. This article gives an in-depth look at the universal principles for relating to those who differ from us, helping us understand how to contend earnestly for the faith without being contentious.

Portrait of a Peacemaker
by Jim Soft, Board Member for Peacemaker Ministries. A detailed study of Barnabas and how he exemplified the character traits of a peacemaker.

Preparing Home Schoolers for Conflict
by Annette Friesen. Excited about the idea of helping to prepare homeschoolers in your family or region to respond well to conflict? Annette Freisen gives some solid ideas here for leaders regarding what to do next.

Preventative Law within the Faith Community
by David V. Edling and Lynn Pace. This article addresses the relationship between civil law and people of faith, especially as it relates to Christian conciliation.

Protecting Ourselves is The Most Dangerous Course of Action
by the Rev. Eric Foley.  Since the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, a spotlight has been turned on the Korean American community, and many people are carefully evaluating their response. In this article, the Rev. Eric Foley discusses different ways that the Korean community can respond to the recent shooting at Virginia Tech. He calls upon his brothers and sisters in the Korean American church to respond in a peacemaking way — a way that goes against the grain of our natural human impulses: “If Koreans follow the recent example of how the Amish responded to a shooting tragedy, we can change Americans’ opinions of Koreans.”

Putting Professionals in their Place
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article discusses the appropriate role for “professionals” in the area of peacemaking and Christian conciliation.

Spreading the Gospel of Peace
by Chip Zimmer, Director of International Ministries. A look at the commonalities of conflict around the world, from Peru to Croatia, and the universality of the gospel as the only true hope for peace.

Strike the Shepherd – Losing Pastors in the Church
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. When conflicts involve the pastor, the whole church suffers. In this article, Ken Sande looks at the pressure that pastors face and how to prepare and protect them from conflict.

Taking Up the Challenge
by Dr. Alfred J. Poirier, former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Peacemaker Ministries. This article is a thorough critique of a “scientific” view of forgiveness and a discussion of the role of psychological empirical research in Christian counseling.

Tell It to the Church
by David V. Edling, Senior Ministry Consultant, Peacemaker Ministries. This article discusses what Jesus meant when he said, “…tell it to the church…” in Matthew 18:17, particularly focusing on its place within redemptive church discipline.

The Cross and Criticism
by Dr. Alfred J. Poirier, former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Peacemaker Ministries. This is a helpful discussion of how we, as Christians, should thoughtfully, mercifully, and humbly give and receive criticism.

The Crucible of Family Conflict
by MaryAnne Moran. This article addresses how God uses the “heat” of family conflict to mold the very character of his children.

The Dangers of “Good” Advocacy
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article addresses some of the inherent problems with the adversarial legal system.

The Effects of Divorce on America
By Patrick F. Fagan and Robert Rector.  American society may have erased the stigma that once accompanied divorce, but it can no longer ignore its massive effects.

The Four Promises of Forgiveness for Children
by Corlette Sande, Author of The Young Peacemaker. From the perspective of a school teacher and mother, Corlette Sande unpacks the concept of forgiveness and how necessary it is to help our children be true peacemakers.

The God We Can Trust
Ken Sande relates how we demonstrate our trust in God by obeying his teachings and commands in the midst of conflict.

The Harvest is Great but the Laborers are Grumbling
by Donald L. Bubna, member of Peacemaker Ministries’ Board of Directors. This article identifies the divisive spirit that characterizes many churches today, and then shows how a church can change to become unified for the glory of God.

The High Cost of Conflict Among Christians
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. In an eye-opening look at several empirical studies, Ken estimates the staggering financial cost of conflict in the church today.

The Key to Revival
by Dr. Alfred J. Poirier, Chairman of the Peacemaker Ministries Board of Directors. In this article, Dr. Poirier tells his experience of God’s amazing work of reconciliation in a deeply conflicted church, where instead of a split or continued dispute, the church finds forgiveness and reconciliation.

The Measure of a Place
by Chip Zimmer, Director of International Ministries. While he loves visiting new places around the world, Chip reminds us that the true measure of a place is what lives in the hearts of its people and whether those hearts are inclined toward God.

The Myths of Divorce
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article discusses five myths that people in the midst of divorce are often fooled into believing.

True Stories: A Good Pair of Walking Shoes
by Heidi Thomas. When her neighbor has a conflict with her son’s teacher, Heidi learns that being a peacemaker often involves first being a friend.

True Stories: A Tale of Two Confessions
What does it mean to make an adequate confession? In this story, the 7 A’s of Confession provide a useful framework for seeking true forgiveness.

True Stories: Accountable to God
When one woman remembered that she was accountable to God, it changed her perspective on her husband and her marriage. Through faithful obedience, she experienced a whole new level of intimacy with God and with her husband. We love to receive letters like this one!

True Stories: Blessed are the Young Peacemakers
by Sue Scott. This article describes the response of a church to a senseless shooting at the local high school, contrasting the way the world tends to handle conflict with the way taught in The Young Peacemaker. It was first printed in the Winter 1998 edition of Sharing, a Mennonite Mutual Aid magazine. Reprinted by permission of Sue Scott.

True Stories: Church Discipline Saves a Marriage
Church discipline often has a negative connotation—harsh, retaliatory, or dictatorial. But church discipline, when its purpose is loving restoration, is a great benefit to the church and its “lost sheep,” as evidenced by this True Story of a reconciled marriage.

True Stories: Confession from the Pulpit
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. A pastor’s “embarrassing” confession left a big impression… just not the one expected!

True Stories: Confrontation in the Teacher’s Lounge
For some of us, it can be extremely difficult to confront–it is much easier to ignore a conflict and hope it will go away. In this story, even though Janet hated confrontation, she knew that she could not remain silent when a Christian co-worker’s behavior became increasingly destructive. While it wasn’t easy, Janet learned that loving confrontation can be good for everyone involved.

True Stories: Daddy … Is That You?
The tearful reunion of father and daughter demonstrates the power of forgiveness and the joy of reconciliation.

True Stories: Forgiveness is Stronger than Adultery
When a marriage has been fractured by adultery, a husband and wife ask, “Is there any hope?” By the grace of God, the answer is, “Yes!” This testimony from a Christian conciliator shows the healing power of biblical forgiveness.

True Stories: Getting Fired
Getting fired, especially in a way that seems completely unjust, can feel like the ultimate slap in the face. Retribution is the standard reaction, but this story shows how going a different route—conciliation, humility, confession, and forgiveness—honors God and often brings about true peace.

True Stories: It Took a Village to Restore My Marriage
by Jack B. Mills. Jack tells the story of how an amazing chain of people worked to bring his broken family back together.

True Stories: Laying Down Rights
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. In our litigious society, we often hear the cry that, “My rights have been infringed!” In this story, when a man forgives his boss for hurting him, he discovers that there is something far more valuable than asserting legal rights.

True Stories: One Conflict “Worth the Fight”
Many of the other True Stories depict an occasion where confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation all take place in a short time. Of course, this is not always the case–sometimes the reconciliation process can take months or even years. This True Story is a dialogue between two women whose close friendship is severely tested by painful conflict. They remind us that persevering through the hard work of reconciliation is most definitely worthwhile.

True Stories: Oprah, Rosie, and the Pastor’s Wife
by Heather Smith. The belittling remark from the pulpit cut Heather deeply — even more so since the pastor was also her husband! What is the appropriate way to handle this very public conflict?

True Stories: Reconciling with Mom
Our closest relationships are often the most emotionally painful and challenging to reconcile. But with the help of the concepts in The Peacemaker, a woman is compelled to seek reconciliation with her mother after years of heartache, and writes about her experience in this letter.

True Stories: Saving Staff and Money
We repeatedly mention on this web site the benefits that biblical peacemaking brings to Christians’ personal lives, relationships, churches, and witness for Christ. But a non-profit ministry director wrote this letter to describe an additional benefit of using biblical peacemaking—it makes good business sense!

True Stories: Searching for Treasure in the Wilderness
A pastor learns to trust God’s faithfulness in the middle of the barren landscape of conflict.

True Stories: Taming the Wolf Pack
What do you do when a group of people is criticizing an individual who is not present? This brief testimony shows how a bit of boldness, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit can move people back in the right direction.

True Stories: Testimonies on The Young Peacemaker
These testimonies, ranging from the experience of a home school mom to that of a Christian school principal, talk about the lessons they’ve learned and the benefits of teaching children to be peacemakers.

True Stories: The Angry Employee
When we are hurt or mistreated, our first reaction is often to strike back—with angry words, hateful actions, or even a lawsuit. In short, we respond just like non-Christians. In this story, against his instincts, an employee first takes the time to consider God’s interests and look at his own contribution to a conflict before confronting others.

True Stories: The Defective Garage
Business disputes between Christians are more common than you might think, and they often result in an unecessary lawsuit. This story illustrates how a church can encourage Christian conciliation (in this case, mediation), helping to bring about a just solution to a dispute while facilitating personal reconciliation.

True Stories: The Devoted Educators
How can we “accept one another” (Rom. 15:7) and “look out for one another’s interests” (Phil. 2:4) when an issue threatens to divide our church? With the help of wise leadership, one congregation puts these verses into practice in this story of the disagreements over Christian education in their church.

True Stories: The Humble Pastor
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. At first, Ken was embarrassed by the confession his pastor gave from the pulpit in church. But later, he saw just how much the Lord can use such a simple, yet genuine, display of humility.

True Stories: The New Curriculum
How often in our churches do we get into conflict while trying to “do” ministry? Our underlying goals may be good, but we still needlessly fight with one another. What a witness for Christ! In this story, doctrinal differences nearly divide a Sunday school committee until they learn a biblical way to negotiate and work together.

True Stories: The Policeman Who Made Peace
You don’t have to be a pastor, counselor or lawyer to guide others through a conflict. Here’s an account of how one layperson successfully applied the knowledge he learned through peacemaker training.

True Stories: The Reptile Robbery
by Marilyn Fargo. The turtles are missing! Who’s responsible? In this letter, a public school teacher shares her experience of the value of teaching The Young Peacemaker in the classroom.

True Stories: The Sister’s Tug of War
The death of a parent and subsequent resolution of the estate can bring to the surface many painful family conflicts. But a caring church can help bring healing and reconciliation to these families, as it does in this story.

True Stories: The Stolen Candy
Lying… blaming… these responses come all-too-easily to children who are caught in a misdeed. This story demonstrates a different response from a second grader who had learned an important lesson from The Young Peacemaker.

True Stories: The Whole Class Makes a Confession
How can kids learn to make a genuine confession? Applying principles from The Young Peacemaker, this confession was written by an eighth grade class at a Christian school after they had badly messed up some classrooms during an art project.

True Stories: We Can’t Ever be Close Again
What does forgiveness really mean? In this story, a man learns to apply the Four Promises of Forgiveness in the context of an impending divorce.

True Stories: When You Need to Negotiate, PAUSE
A difficult situation is resolved with the help of the PAUSE principle.

True Stories: Where Will Mom Live
Conflicts can easily erupt within families when deciding how to best care for elderly parents. Sometimes a conflict can simmer for years and just needs this sort of an opportunity to surface. This testimony from a Christian conciliator describes how one family, after some pretty rough times, eventually resolved their conflict in a way that honored the Lord.

True Stories: Why Stir up Old Issues?
So often, it is far easier to ignore conflict and its negative effects than to deal with it head on—especially if the source of the conflict is in the distant past. In this letter of testimony, a pastor avoids the easy route of ignoring the past conflict and instead, leads his new church in a powerful act of reconciliation.

Walking in Peace amid Holiday Strife
by Tara Klena Barthel. This article offers practical and biblical help for ensuring that the holiday season is one filled with peace rather than filled with conflict.

War and Peace
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article presents a balanced analysis of the Christian’s proper response to the 2003 war in Iraq.

Waves Not Made of Water
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries. This article presents Ken Sande’s thoughts in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

What Is Truth? The Fight Against Practical Relativism
by David V. Edling and Molly Routson. This article addresses some of the impact of postmodernism on the church today, particularly in the area of peacemaking.

Why Christians Divorce
by Chuck Colson, Chairman of Prison Fellowship Ministries. This article describes a common pitfall faced by many Christians who are considering a divorce.

Written on their Hearts
by Annette Friesen. Even in life’s pressures and “failures”, Annette Friesen brings us back to the most important things we can teach our children.

You Can Stop the Killing