In this foundational peacemaking resource, Ken Sande describes the powerful biblical principles you can use to resolve conflict. Download Chapter 1 and see for yourself how applicable this book is! $13.95 more info
|Upcoming Event Schedule:
• August 23, Orlando, FL – Conflict Coaching• August 24-25, Orlando, FL – Mediation Training
• August 24-25, Niceville, FL – Peacemaker Seminar
• September 6, 2007, Billings, MT – Conflict Coaching
• September 7-8, 2007, Billings, MT – Mediation Training
• September 18, 2007, Charlotte, NC – Conflict Coaching
• 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 19-20, 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 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 Coaching
More information, registration, or complete listing of upcoming events
A Church without Conflict?
by Rick Friesen
Associate Director of Marketing and Major Events
“We don’t have any conflict in our church, so we wouldn’t need Peacemakers.”
A few months ago on one of my cross-country trips, I was seated next to a friendly man. As we talked, we both shared a little bit about our lives–where we lived, our occupations, and the fact that we were both believers. It turned out he attended a large and well-known church. When he discovered that I worked for Peacemaker Ministries and worked with churches in conflict, he made the statement above that caused my jaw to drop. No conflict in his church?
I paused as I thought about our fallen world and the staggering statistics that we’ve all heard: the 35 % divorce rate among Christians, the millions of dollars spent on lawsuits between believers, the pastoral turnover, the sexual abuse, and the church splits. It seems that hardly a day goes by without seeing something in the news involving some sort of tragedy in the Church. And what about the conflicts that don’t make the news: the husband and wife fighting over money, the parents dealing with their angry teenagers, or the careless comments from a friend or family member that wound so deeply. Can a church, filled with sinners, really exist without any conflict?
To be fair to this gentleman, I’m sure that if we had unpacked what conflict really is, he probably would not have made that statement. But even when we are able to recognize the conflict around us, what do we do about it? Is there any hope?
The Bible has much to say about how we deal with conflict. At Peacemaker Ministries, our mission is to assist and equip Christians and their churches to deal with conflict in a biblically faithful manner, giving God all the glory.
In light of our mission, we are excited about the 2007 Peacemaker Conference, That We May Be One, to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 20-22. Filled with biblical and practical training by gifted and experienced speakers, the Peacemaker Conference is also marked by heartfelt worship of God and concerted prayer. In between the plenary sessions and workshops, there is also plenty of time for fellowship and discussions with people from around the world who are committed to building a culture of peace in their churches and homes.
The Peacemaker Conference will include over sixty workshops organized into six main categories: Peacemaking Teams, the Peacemaking Church, Personal Peacemaking, Family and Marriage, Peacemaking Cross-Culturally, and Advanced Training. Many new topics will also be offered, including multiple sessions on building and running a church peacemaking team.
In addition to all this great training, one of the most exciting things about this year’s conference will be the introduction of the new Peacemaking Church Resource Set. This easy-to-use resource will help you to inspire, teach, and embed biblical peacemaking principles into your own church through a simple three-part integrated discipleship initiative. Based on extensive feedback and counsel from experienced peacemakers, the Peacemaking Church Resource Set provides the tools you need to help change the life and health of your church!
As you can see, we have much to look forward to at the 2007 Peacemaker Conference. Our inspiring lineup of speakers (such as Randy Alcorn, Edward Gilbreath, and Tim Lane) will make this year’s conference even better than ever–but it won’t be the same without you. Please mark your calendars today and plan to join us so that you will be even better prepared the next time someone says, “What can we do about conflict?”
But don’t just come by yourself–bring a group! Not only will you equip more people, but you can save money on your registration as well. Register by July 15th and save even more .
I hope to see you at the conference this fall. But even more so, I hope that you will catch the vision for building a culture of peace in your own church. May we all see and respond to the conflicts in our churches with the grace and truth that Christ has extended to us.
Pre-Conference Events–Rates Increase on August 10
While you are in Charlotte for the Peacemaker Conference, why not deepen your skills in peacemaking by attending one of several pre-conference events? Led by our most experienced conciliators, these training events equip attendees to apply God’s Word to specific areas of conflict and help others to do the same. Rates for the pre-conference events increase on August 10, so make your pre-conference training plans now!
In the News…
You probably wouldn’t think that peacemaking and rap music have a whole lot in common. But that is no longer the case. (No, we aren’t implementing a new worship style at this year’s Peacemaker Conference.) Late last year a controversy arose when Curtis (aka “Voice”) Allen performed an original rap song during a service at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis (pastored by John Piper). The song was entitled “Unstoppable,” and it extolled the unstoppable grace of God through Christ in salvation, and was warmly received by those present.
A friend of Curtis’ posted a video of the performance on his website, and then as Curtis put it, “Down came the rain. Word spread that John Piper had a rapper rap at his church during worship and people flipped out. Next thing you know there were over a dozen blogs talking about this… my critics were not only harshly criticizing my music, but they were also criticizing the genre itself as un-Christian.”
So how does peacemaking fit into all this? Well, instead of responding in kind to his critics, Curtis responded with gentleness and graciousness and by doing so, he won over some of his most ardent critics. Since that wasn’t his natural inclination (or any of ours, for that matter) when confronted with harsh criticism, what changed his attitude? Curtis noted that his heart was softened as he read an article by Alfred Poirier, “The Cross & Criticism.” Alfred is Chairman of the Board for Peacemaker Ministries and the author of The Peacemaking Pastor. So along with Curtis, we invite you to read this article and remember how the cross of Christ should change the way we receive and respond to criticism.
Sneak Peek at New Line of Resources
As mentioned above, Peacemaker Ministries has spent the last several months developing a new line of resources–The Peacemaking Church–to help churches begin their journey toward a culture of peace. You’ll be hearing much more about these resources in the coming months (trust us), but detailed information is now available on our website as well as in our online bookstore.
Testimony of the Month
This testimony came into our office from a friend of the ministry who was using The Peacemaker to teach the principles of peacemaking to a class. Here’s what the student had to say:
“I did not want to read Chapter 10, because I did not want to forgive… But I did read it and I must say it is the most incredible chapter I have read in a long time, and I read all the time. I wish I had known this so clearly many years ago. Thank you for doing the class.
P.S. I feel so good after forgiving. I mean really good.”
Praise God for his forgiveness and the blessing that comes from forgiving!
|More 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!