eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – August 2007

 

eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – August 2007

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Monthly news and commentary on biblical peacemaking August 2007
In This Issue:

• The Church: God’s Preeminent Peacemaking Paradigm

• Introducing The Peacemaking Church Resource Set

• Last Chance for Discount on Peacemaker Conference Registration

•  Quote of the Month

The Peacemaking Church Resource Set

An integrated church-wide initiative for building a Culture of Peace-it’s the next generation of peacemaking materials for churches $199.00              more info

Upcoming Event Schedule:
•  September 6, 2007, Billings, MT – Conflict Coaching
•  September 7-8, 2007, Billings, MT – Mediation Training
•  September 18 – 20, 2007, Charlotte, NC – Conflict Coaching & Mediation Training•  September 18-20, Charlotte, NC – Reconciling Church Conflict
•  September 18-20, Charlotte, NC – Certification Training
•  September 18-20, Charlotte, NC – Teaching Peacemaking Cross Culturally
•  September 19-20, Charlotte, NC – Reconciling Marital Conflict
•  September 20, Charlotte, NC – Mediation Training
•  September 20, Charlotte, NC – Walking Through Divorce Redemptively
•  September 20, Charlotte, NC – Case Administration
•  October 11, Colleyville, TX – Conflict Coaching
•  October 12-13, Colleyville, TX – Mediation Training
•  October 12, Lynchburg, VA – Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church•  October 13, Bozeman, MT – Peacemaker Seminar
•  October 19-20, Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Conflict Coaching
•  October 20, Duluth, MN – Peacemaker Seminar
•  October 26-27, Little Rock, AR – Mediation Training
•  October 26-27, Las Cruces, NM – Peacemaker Seminar
•  October 26-27, Dublin, OH – Peacemaker Seminar
•  October 27, Lanesville, IN – Peacemaker Seminar
•  November 2-3, Wichita, KS – Peacemaker Seminar
•  December 7, Midlothian, VA – Conflict CoachingMore information, registration, or complete listing of upcoming events

 

The Church: God’s Preeminent Peacemaking Paradigm

By Ken Sande

“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known…” Eph. 3:10a.

Ephesians 3:1-13 unveils one of the most exciting developments in the history of the world. This passage tells us that God is preparing an enormous public relations campaign–he is planning to advertise his glorious power, love, and wisdom to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms and to all of the nations on earth.

The star of this campaign is his Son, Jesus Christ.

And the primary medium through which God intends to exalt his Son is not national television, full-page advertisements, or a divinely designed web site. The primary vehicle God has chosen for this task is the church. As passage after passage of Scripture indicates, the primary responsibility of the local church is to make Jesus Christ known to the world and to call all people to be reconciled to the Father and to one another through faith in his Son. Only then can we obey the commandments to love God and love our neighbors.

Peacemaking is an essential component of God’s plan to glorify his Son and reconcile the world to himself through the Church. I have found at least seven reasons that this is so.

1. Conflict is at the heart of God’s redemption plan. As God warns in Genesis 3:15, conflict between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman will be a central dynamic in the outworking of God’s redemptive plan. Conflict is present at every major advance of his kingdom. When conflict befalls God’s people, he displays his glory in one of two ways: he overpowers those who oppose his people, or he works through the Spirit of his Son to bring peacemaking and reconciliation between enemies.

2. Relationship is at the heart of the Trinity. Throughout Scripture we see that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have been perfectly and joyfully joined together in relationship throughout eternity, planning and working to display the glory of God through his redemptive plan. Since relationship is woven into the very nature of the blessed Trinity, God wants his children to imitate him in the way they relate to one another. He reminds us over and over to fight with all our strength to preserve our relationships. And again and again, God makes it clear that this relational work is not something that we pursue on our own. For a Christian, the primary context for relationship building and repair is the local church.

3. It helps to preserve a particularly important relationship: marriage. God has established marriage to display the glory of Jesus’ relationship with his church (Eph. 5:25-27). Sin and Satan constantly work to tear marriages apart. If the church is to preserve marriage as a reflection of Jesus’ love for his church, we must devote ourselves to peacemaking within the family of God.

4. Peacemaking displays the redeeming power of the gospel. Unlike the world, which can only use law to contain or punish wrongdoing, the church can bring the one-two punch of God’s Law and his gospel to bear to restore and heal relationships that seem to be damaged or broken beyond repair.

5. A peacemaking church provides powerful evidence to the reality of our faith and identity as the sons and daughters of the living God. Many people resist the claims of the church by pointing to the constant conflicts that divide our families and congregations. As Francis Schaeffer wrote, “If we do not love one another, the world has a right to question whether Christianity is true.”

6. A peacemaking church demonstrates God’s holiness and his passion for righteousness and justice. As Isaiah 5:16 proclaims, “The LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness.” God wants his church to be a vehicle of justice in a fallen world. And so by providing an environment of accountability in the church, we demonstrate God’s passion for purity and justice.

7. Peacemaking is a key to evangelizing the lost. In our deeply conflicted world, many people are looking for a haven of peace, where relationships are treasured and protected. When the church provides that haven, people are drawn to the church and to the Lord himself.

For all these reasons, peacemaking is a key component in God’s plan to exalt his Son and build his kingdom, and this vital ministry is to be carried out primarily through the local church.

So how can your church begin to see the blessing of peacemaking? You can start by weaving peacemaking thoroughly into your personal life, your family, and the fabric of your congregation. But if you want to gain the maximum return on your peacemaking investment, I encourage you to ask God to help you build a culture of peace in your church that is so fruitful that it overflows into your community, other churches, and your denomination. I hope you will be praying that your church can fulfill God’s calling for you to give witness to the reconciling power of Jesus Christ and draw more and more people into relationship with the Savior.

Ken Sande is President of Peacemaker Ministries and author of The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict and many other resources on biblical peacemaking. This article is based on Ken’s keynote address from the 2002 Peacemaker Conference.

Introducing The Peacemaking Church Resource Set

As you can tell from Ken’s message, we at Peacemaker Ministries are passionate about the Church. We think of ourselves as a bridesmaid: our entire purpose is to prepare the bride–the Church–and make her beautiful for her beloved groom, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And that’s why we are particularly excited to introduce our next generation of materials for churches–The Peacemaking Church Resource Set. Our previous products for churches, while full of important and biblical principles, have often been unnecessarily complex and difficult to implement. So based on extensive feedback from pastors and churches, The Peacemaking Church Resource Set is a more simple, user-friendly, and long-lasting solution for churches to use to begin their journey toward a culture of peace. It is built around three primary components, each with its own specific purpose:

Begin to change the way your people think about conflict and help your
church on its journey
toward a Culture of Peace.

Pastor’s Box

Model sermons and foundational
teaching to help the pastor gain leadership support and cast a vision for a
culture of peace in your church

Small Group Box

An eight-week small group study to enable
your entire church to learn the basic
principles of personal peacemaking

Peacemaking Team Box

All the resources needed to establish a Peacemaking Team and make peacemaking an ongoing and vital part of your church’s life

 What’s the “Peacemaking Team” thing all about?Peacemaking Teams are a key concept within the new Peacemaking Church materials.  Dig deeper into the idea of teams by visiting the   Peacemaking Teams section
of our website.

Much more information on The Peacemaking Church Resource Set, including several videos that introduce and unpack the materials, is available at the Peacemaking Church section of our website. We encourage you to visit and see how this resource will help your church on its journey toward a culture of peace.Order The Peacemaking Church Resource Set today for a special introductory price of $199 through our online bookstore or by calling us toll-free at 800-711-7118.

NOTE: The Peacemaking Church Resource Set will be featured prominently in the next issue of Peacemaker Magazine. If you don’t already receive the magazine, sign up for a FREE one-year subscription this week to make sure you don’t miss this issue.

  Last Chance for Discount on Peacemaker Conference Registration

Do you have a heart for the unity of Christ’s followers? Would you like to worship God in a dynamic setting and learn to apply biblical peacemaking principles in key areas of life? Then join us in a few weeks for the peacemaking event of the year-the 2007 Peacemaker Conference!

Make your way to Charlotte, NC on September 20-22 for three days of powerful and practical teaching on the theme “That We May Be One.” Featured speakers this year include Randy Alcorn, Edward Gilbreath, Tim Lane, Victor Nakah, and Peacemaker Ministries President, Ken Sande.

Registration prices will increase on August 31, so register soon!

Quote of the Month  

Ed Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity, noted this about the Church:

“The church is the one institution that is best equipped to overcome the racial divide. It goes back again to our great example in Jesus Christ. He did the ultimate act of reconciliation. He was the ultimate peacemaker through the life he lived while on earth and through his saving work on the cross. And as his followers, we are called to be people who reflect that and live out that great love and that great reconciliation.

It’s really as simple as that. God’s Spirit empowers us to bring his Word and his love–the gospel itself–to others, allowing us as the Church to help restore what was lost and to build a bridge across what was broken. In today’s society, we often assign the work of reconciliation to a social program or political activity. But since the reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, reconciliation should be in the heart of the Church. Are we willing to live that out?”

Ed will be leading an extended discussion on “Peacemaking in Racially Blended Churches” at this year’s conference-just one more good reason to register!

Donate NowMore and more churches and individuals are in need of our training and resources, and many of them lack the financial resources to reimburse us for our expenses. We would love to serve them–would you consider making that possible?  Be a blessing to others!Invest in spreading the gospel of God’s peace throughout his church. Thank you!
Peacemaker Ministries • P.O. Box 81130 • Billings, Montana 59108 • (406)256-1583 • http://peacemaker.net

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Questions or other feedback? Drop us a note at news@peacemaker.net.

 

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March 4, 2015