I am working my way through the book The Peace Maker by Ken Sande. It was recommended to me a year of so ago during a very difficult time in my life with the church and I bought it, but didn’t really get into it. Then, recently, my mother in Colorado sent me a brochure on a program that the Torchbearers use at their program at Ravencrest near Estes Park, CO. (My mom & step father have hosted several people/groups from Ravencrest in their home for different occasions.) The material in the brochure was directly from Sande’s book, which prompted me to take another look at it. I am enjoying it and finding it quite useful.
Sande emphasizes that conflict is not an inconvenience, nor an opportunity to force our will on others, "but rather as an opportunity to demonstrate the love and power of God in our lives."
Sande sees in I Cor. 10:31-11:1 an opportunity, in conflict, to:
- Glorify God
- Serve Others
- Grow to be Like Christ
If it important to realize that if you do not glorify God when you are involved in a conflict, you will inevitably glorify someone or something else. By your actions you will show either that you have a big God, or that you have a big self and big problems. To put it another way, if you do not focus on God, you will inevitably focus on yourself and your will, or on other people and the threat of their wills. (p. 34)
That principle is true both in conflict within a church, but also in preaching. In my preaching, I will either glorify God, or something or someone else. May it be the former…