Putting Professionals in their Place

Putting Professionals in their PlaceThis article originally appeared in the November 1993 issue of Covenanter Witness.by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker Ministries Resolving Everyday Conflict Small group Bible study that’s perfect for use in the church or workplace. Ideal for Sunday school classes, membership classes, mission teams, or neighborhood Bible studies—any group that wants to learn, discuss, and apply the principles of biblical peacemaking together. Church Price: $199.00 more info Americans are infatuated with professionals. Every year we seem to turn more and more of our lives over to people who are perceived to be experts because they have obtained special education, certification, or recognition in their fields.Obviously, professionals are a blessing in many ways. They have taken the time to study and master principles of science, medicine, law, finances, and other fields that the rest of us do not have the time or inclination to fathom. Whether they care for our bodies, businesses, homes, or cars, the professionals’ expertise often allows them to discern problems and implement solutions more quickly and effectively than could the average layman. Our dependence on professionals has created some significant problems, however. The more we depend on others to manage certain aspects of our lives, the easier it is for us to delegate to them responsibilities that we could and should handle on our own. This is particularly true when it comes to conflict resolution. This point was vividly illustrated in a video I watched that promotes “peer mediation” training in public schools. Recognizing the serious problems our schools are having with violent conflict, the organization that produced this tape has developed a...

Polemic Theology – How to Deal with Those who Differ from Us

Polemic Theology – How to Deal with Those who Differ from Usby Dr. Roger R. Nicole, Visiting Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary Part 1: What Do I Owe to the Person Who Differs from Me? Culture of Peace Booklets Short and easy-to-read booklets provide “bite-sized morsels” on topics related to biblical peacemaking—perfect for giving away to friends and family members! $1.75/ea more info We are called upon by the Lord to contend earnestly for the faith. (Jude 3) That does not necessarily involve being contentious; but it involves avoiding compromise, standing forth for what we believe, standing forth for the truth of God-without welching at any particular moment. Thus, we are bound to meet, at various points and various levels, people with whom we disagree. We disagree in some areas of Christian doctrine. We disagree as to some details of church administration. We disagree as to the way in which certain tasks of the church should be pursued. And, in fact, if we are careful to observe the principles that I would like to expound for you, I would suggest that they may be valuable also in disagreements that are not in the religious field. They also would apply to disagreements in politics or difficulties with people in your job or friction within the family or contentions between husband and wife or between parents and children. Who does not encounter from time to time people who are not in complete agreement; therefore it is good to seek to discover certain basic principles whereby we may relate to those who differ from us.It seems strange that one should desire to...

Peacemaking Can Preserve Staff, Money, and Mission

Peacemaking Can Preserve Staff, Money, and MissionThis article originally appeared in the First Quarter 2003 issue of FOCUS, a publication of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and is reprinted by permission.by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker MinistriesConflict is a thief. Each year it robs ministries of valuable staff and thousands of dollars in wasted time, turnover, and legal expenses. Worse yet, conflict can erode an organization’s Christian witness, both internally and externally, and undermine its mission. The good news is that many organizations are learning how to prevent these losses and actually use conflict to promote personal and ministry growth. You can do the same for your ministry through these four steps. 1. See Conflict as an Opportunity In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he points out that Christians should view conflict in a way that is radically different from the world. Instead of seeing conflict as a waste of time or fearing it, believers should see it as an opportunity to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ (see 1 Cor. 10:31-11:1). As one ministry leader discovered, this perspective can produce remarkable results: When we discovered that one of our youth workers was involved in immoral behavior, our first thought was simply to fire her. But we remembered the “three opportunities” and decided to make a serious effort to minister to her. Instead of becoming angry and threatening us with a retaliatory lawsuit, she resigned voluntarily. Best of all, she committed herself to a counseling program we recommended. In a recent letter she wrote, “I am so glad that my...

Charitable Judgments: An Antidote to Judging Others

Charitable Judgments: An Antidote to Judging Others  by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker Ministries I Knew It! “I knew he was too proud to take criticism,” thought Anne, “and now I have proof!” On the previous Sunday, Anne had dropped a prayer card in the offering plate asking her pastor to stop in and pray with her when she went to the hospital for some minor surgery. When he failed to come by, she called the church secretary and learned that her pastor had already been to the hospital that day to see another church member. “So he has no excuse!” she thought. “He was in the building and knew I needed his support, but still he ignored me. He’s resented me ever since I told him his sermons lack practical application. Now he’s getting back at me by ignoring my spiritual needs. And he calls himself a shepherd!” After brooding over his rejection for three days, Anne sat down Saturday evening and wrote a letter confronting her pastor about his pride, defensiveness and hypocrisy. As she sealed the envelope, she could not help thinking about the conviction he would feel when he opened his mail. The moment she walked into church the next morning, one of the deacons hurried over to her. “Anne, I need to apologize to you. When I took the prayer cards out of the offering plates last week, I accidentally left your card with some pledge cards. I didn’t notice my mistake until last night when I was totaling the pledges. I am so sorry I didn’t get your request to the pastor!” Before...

ACSI – The Matthew 18 Principle for Solving School Problems

ACSI – The Matthew 18 Principle for Solving School ProblemsThis article originally appeared as an internal document for Association of Christian Schools International and is reprinted by permission.by Dr. Paul A. Kienel, former president of Association of Christian Schools International Guiding People Through Conflict A succinct summary and application of biblical conflict resolution principles for those trying to assist other people who are struggling with conflict. $5.95 more info The “me generation” philosophy of “I’ll do it my way” sometimes spills over into the Christian community. For example, when differences develop between individuals, some Christians take matters into their “own hands” and bypass the biblical procedure of solving problems.A Christian school is made up of people—parents, administrators, teachers, and students. Like any other collection of earthly mortals, the people associated with a Christian school have the potential for misunderstanding, disagreement, and even wrongdoing. Nevertheless, it is God’s will that we live and work together in harmony. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35, KJV). Due to our human nature, we may at times irritate others, resulting in misunderstandings or strong disagreements. In Matthew 18:15-17, KJV, Jesus gives His formula for solving person-to-person problems. I call it “the Matthew 18 principle” for solving school problems. The following are the words of Jesus: Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he...