“Few ministries have done as much to equip churches and church leaders to respond to conflict biblically than Peacemaker Ministries. In this book, Peacemaker educators and experienced mediators Barthel and Edling lay out a hopeful model for conflict redemption, using Acts 15 as a model. They see Acts 15 as the first time the church faced a major conflict issue, and extract from this experience four universal principles:
- Eternal Perspective
- Shepherd Leadership
- Biblical Response
These create not a formula, but a set of broad directives that are applicable to most situations, no matter how complex. The authors have used these principles in numerous church interventions, and have witnessed the Holy Spirit change the lives of individuals and congregations.
Those familiar with other Peacemaker resources for interpersonal conflict resolution will find the same themes – the inevitability of conflict, seeing conflict redpemtively, grasping conflict opportunities for growth in Christlikeness, experiencing and extending God’s grace and forgiveness, maintaing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and many others. The difference here is the congregational focus, blended with the stories and practical wisdom characteristic of all Peacemaker materials.
I highly recommend this book as a first read to gain a biblical vision and strategy for reconciliation.”