For a better experience on Church of God Chapel,  update your browser.

Peacemaking Q & A

What is Relational Wisdom (RW)?

In essence, RW is the ability to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37-39). Specifically, RW is your ability to discern emotions, interests and abilities in yourself and others, to interpret them in the light of Gods Word, and to use these insights to manage your responses and relationships successfully.

Life is all about relationships (Gen. 2:18; John 13:34-35) and relationships can be challenging. They are often fueled by emotions, both positively and negatively (Matt. 14:14; Gen. 37:11, 28). Relationships are three dimensional (Eph. 4:30-32) involving God, self and others; they also involve two dynamics: (1) being aware what do I know? and (2) engaging in response what will I do?

The Bible provides a powerfully effective way to deal with relationships and the emotions that fuel them.In particular, the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the motive, pattern and power for RW (Eph. 5:1-2; Titus 2:14). Indeed, Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

A Message from our Congregation's Peacemaking Team

Why a biblical peacemaking ministry for our congregation?

The best way to answer that question is through six Because's:

  1. Because of the gospel. Unless God had chosen to make peace with us through the blood of his Son, there would be no peace with others...but because of the blood of his Son, we nowcan have peace with one another.The presence of a peacemaking team can help our church live out that amazing truth, constantly pointing others to the hope of the gospel.
  2. Because theres always conflict present in the church, and people need help with it. Ever since the earliest days of the church, conflict has been a constant. As Paul points out in Philippians 4:2-3, even the godliest people can find themselves in a conflict that they need help to work through. Paul didnt tell his friends to just work it out; he asked another dear friend in the church to help them work it out. Our Peacemaking Team aims to do the same help our brothers and sisters when they need help.
  3. Because people LEAK. Isnt teaching peacemaking enough? No! While teaching is an essential step in changing a churchs culture, we all know that it doesnt take long for that knowledge to leak out and fade away. People forget what theyve heard; and new members come who havent heard it at all. Our Peacemaking Team provides ongoing teaching about biblical peacemaking.
  4. Because God seeks to transform lives. Its important to refresh teaching that has leaked out, but theres something even more important at stake. Peacemaking isnt just about knowing a bunch of tools and skills, its a transformed way of life people truly living out the gospel in their daily relationships. The wider role of the Peacemaking Team is to help people be transformed by the reconciling power of Jesus Christs death and resurrection.
  5. Because God calls his children to serve their leaders and to advance their vision to build his church. Isnt peacemaking the pastors job? No. As we see in Acts 6:1-7, in order for Pastors to devote themselves to teaching and shepherding, other ministry responsibilities need to be shared among qualified and capable believers. Every member of the body must play a role in order for the church to grow and be fully effective in ministry. A Peacemaking Team will contribute powerfully to our churchs mission, vision, and core values by promoting healthy relationships, spreading the gospel, and boosting community witness and church growth through the irresistible power of transformed lives.
  6. Because someone needs to Guard the Flame. While God certainly calls pastors to model peacemaking with their lives and to support it from the pulpit, its not reasonable to expect them to stay current with all the skills, tools and best practices needed to run an effective reconciliation ministry. It is the role of our Peacemaking Team to become the peacemaking center of excellence and, as Peacemaker Ministries centrally supports church-based ministries, our Team is the natural home for that support within our congregation.

What is the aim and primary purpose of this team ministry?

We aim to address the because issues listed above. Our primary purpose is to continue teaching and helping people in our congregation and in our community respond to conflicts through biblically faithful coaching and mediation.

  • A coach is someone who helps a person decide how to respond to a conflict in a biblically faithful manner.
  • A mediator is someone who meets with two or more people in conflict to help them improve their communication and reach an agreement.
  • Biblically faithful coaching and mediation focuses on each person's heart underlying attitudes, motives, or actions that may be inconsistent with God's purposes.

Our goal is not to preach, but rather to encourage Christians to obey God's commands and to behave in a manner that will please and honor Him.
What distinguishes biblical from non-biblical ways of resolving conflict?

  • Motivation - to please and honor God
  • Authority - Scripture establishes transcendent moral principles
  • Power - the Holy Spirit accomplishes the impossible: changes people's hearts
  • Depth - goes beyond surface issues to resolve root issues or "matters of the heart"
  • Focus - requires parties to deal with their own responsibilities before focusing on others
  • Offering correction - when necessary, uses directive biblical counseling to help people change ungodly attitudes and behavior
  • Restoration - actively promotes true reconciliation through repentance, confession, and forgiveness

How is the peacemaking ministry administered?

The Peacemaking Team ministry must be flexible and efficient: flexible in order to be available to people in conflict and efficient in order to allow our team members to focus on the ministry itself. We are here to serve our community and our entire congregation, including our Pastors and other church leaders. We will continue to teach and to reinforce the principles of biblical peacemaking.

Who currently serves on this ministry team?

The current Members of our Peacemaking Team are: Orren Merren* (Coordinator), Pastor Alson Ebanks*, Pastor Yolanda Palmer*, Pat Downey*, Susan Ebanks*,Antonio Hawkins*, Elsa Hurlston*, Eustace Joseph, Linda McField*, Joy Merren*, Tyra Miller*, Autrey Rolle and Tomy Wilkerson*.[1] The key Scripture for our Team is Mt. 5:9 (blessed are the peacemakers). Our Peacemaking Team has been registered with Peacemaker? Ministries since 2013.

Who does this ministry team serve?

Our Peacemaking Team is available to serve church members and church attenders, who voluntarily come for biblical advice (what we call coaching) to resolve a conflict. We also seek to involve the appropriate church leaders whenever it would be necessary or helpful for coaching or mediation.

It is a strong value for our Team members and people in conflict to be resolving their conflict under the authority of appropriate church leadership structures. If someone from another church is involved, our team will seek to include a leader from that persons church.

What if the conflict involves church discipline?

Our Peacemaking Team's coaching and mediation may interact with the church discipline process. Conflict that leads to a persons involvement with our ministry team may also be a source of church discipline.

However, neither coaching nor mediation are to be a means of escaping church discipline, but instead can be a means of voluntarily resolving the core issues that first led to the need for church discipline. Our Peacemaking Team will always act under the authority of our Church Council and will be careful to support any disciplinary process.

How are our church facilities and staff being impacted?

The activities of our Peacemaking Team are being supported through our congregations annual budget and we rely on various resources from our congregation, including use of church facilities for our team meetings and for training. We can also use our church facilities for coaching and mediation.

Does biblical peacemaking create greater legal liability?

Does our congregation face a higher risk of legal liability by providing coaching and mediation? The answer is no.

Because coaching and mediation are voluntary activities, courts have consistently supported and protected the process. Peacemaker Ministries is not aware of a single church that has been sued for supporting biblical coaching and mediation.

The best protection against liability is for activities of our ministry Team consistently to follow procedures that reinforce and memorialize the voluntary nature of the process. Although our Teams activities are designed to protect our congregation as much as possible, the benefits of biblical peacemaking far outweigh any potential liability.

What about ongoing training for this ministry?

Every Team member is committed to participate in ongoing training. Every Team member has received some basic training in the principles of biblical peacemaking based on the Peacemaker Ministries curriculum.

Most of our Team members have also participated in a three-day live coaching and mediation-training event. One of our Team members has also enrolled in the Certification Program to become a Certified Christian Conciliator and has completed the basic training course for that.

Peacemaker Ministries is committed to supporting us through some blend of the following:

  • Peacemaking team e-news
  • Peacemaking team magazine
  • Information on upcoming training events
  • Dedicated web location with threaded discussion
  • Best practice case studies
  • "News from the front" - cool tips from other peacemaking teams
  • Continuing education - refreshers or new insights on teaching, coaching, mediation, etc.
  • Encouraging testimonies of great team stories

[1] All those Team members who are indicated with an * have completed the Peacemaker® Ministries training course on Conflict Coaching & Mediation.

Learn & live according to God's word. Obey it and serve God through it.