Eight Hundred Pastors Lining Up to Understand How to Resolve Church Conflict

A ministry that takes its name from Matthew 5:9 will be holding their annual conference to equip and assist Christians and their churches to respond to conflict biblically.

Beginning tomorrow, 800 pastors will be attending the Peacemaker Ministries’ national conference on biblical peacemaking in Dallas, which ends Oct. 1.

"At this conference, we’ll be able to touch 800 lives and give them the tools they need to deal constructively with conflict,” said Executive Director Ken Sande.

According to Sande, there are 19,000 major church battles every year, while 1,500 pastors leave their church every month and 35 percent of American Christians get divorced.

"We believe that because the seemingly unresolvable conflict between God and humanity was resolved totally, joyously, and eternally through the Cross, then by faith we can regard every conflict as resolvable," stated Sande.

Since 1982, Peacemaker Ministries has been committed to helping Christians realize there are ways to reconcile every conflict. The network of ministries believes that conflicts arise from unmet desires.

"When we feel we cannot be satisfied – unless we have something we want or think we need – the desire turns into a demand,” the ministries network states in its website. “If someone fails to meet that desire, we condemn him in our heart and quarrel and fight to get our way. In short, conflict arises when desires grow into demands and we judge and punish those who get in our way. Some desires are inherently wrong, such as vengeance, lust, or greed. But many desires are not wrong in and of themselves.”

For the past 33 years, the mission of Peacemaker Ministries has been to equip and assist Christians and their churches to respond to conflict biblically. It prepares church leaders, adults, and children for peacemaking through educational resources, seminars, and training. It also provides conflict coaching, mediation, and arbitration services to resolve church and ministry disputes, lawsuits, family divisions, and business conflicts.

"When faced with conflict, we tend to focus passionately on what our opponent has done wrong or should do to make things right,” Peacemakers Ministries states.

"In contrast, God always calls us to focus on what is going on in our own hearts when we are at odds with others. Why? Because our heart is the wellspring of all our thoughts, words, and actions, and therefore the source of our conflicts."

Each fall, Peacemaker Ministries hold their annual conference for people with an interest in peacemaking. Over the span of a few days, they listen to notable plenary speakers, attend workshops, worship, rest, and “experience deep fellowship with others who are of the same mind and heart.”

This year, speakers include Alfred Pourier, Chairman of the Board of Peacemaker Ministries and senior pastor of Rocky Mountain Community Church, PCA in Billings, Mont.; and Frank Thomas, CEO of Hope for Life International, Inc. and senior pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Memphis, Tenn. Thomas is also owner of The African American Pulpit Journal and author of They Like to Never Quit Praisin' God and What's Love Got To Do With It?

Conference tracks include the Peacemaker Church, Personal Peacemaking, Conflict Coaching, and Advanced Peacemaking.

Sign-ups for the conference are still open online at www.hispeace.org.