2022 Annual Conference “Sowing Peace”
Keynote & Workshops
 

 

Workshops

Our keynote sessions and workshops are designed to enable you to strengthen four key relational disciplines: relational wisdom, biblical peacemaking, RW skills coaching, and Christian conciliation (see definitions in the “4 Disciplines” tab above). This training qualifies for 12 hours of continuing education credit for Advanced and Certified RW Conciliators and for Certified Christian Conciliators

Some topics listed below may change change prior to the conference.

Key Notes

The Power of Souls Knit Together

Our hearts long for companionship and the joy and security that comes from it. Our hearts long for deep friendship. Ultimately, God is the one who satisfies that longing. Nevertheless, the power that comes from deep friendship reflects what God made us for. In Scripture, David and Jonathan provide us with a picture of the power, the joy and the encouragement that comes from souls knit together.

Speaker: Brian Borgman

Toward a Biblically Wise View of Emotions

Emotions drive us. Usually, we see this as a bad thing. But the biblical view of emotions – what they are for, how God intends them to affect us, how we are to respond to their intensity – is both more complex and much richer than we may realize. This session will lay out a practical theology of emotions, especially negative emotions, and offer suggestions for wisely engaging our intensest feelings.

Speaker: Alasdair Groves  

Peacemaking in Africa

Africa is a continent rich in human and natural resources and blessed with many vibrant churches. But is also a place where Christians are surrounded by ongoing religious, ethnic and political conflict. As a long time peacemaker, Misgana will describe the ways that God is using believers to spread the gospel and to promote justice and reconciliation by applying the principles of relational wisdom and biblical peacemaking in countless venues, ranging from national parliaments, civil courts and denominational headquarters to small churches and remote villages.

Speaker:  Misgana Kifle

Fighting to Save Marriages

God designed marriage to present the world with a visible illustration of the love and commitment that has exists between Jesus and his church. Thus, he intends marriage to be a lifelong relationship that is characterized by safety, joy, encouragement, compassion, service and sacrifice, as well as unshakeable loyalty and devotion. Ever since the Fall, however, marriage has been corrupted by the indwelling sin of husbands and wives, as well as by the false values of the world and the devil himself. As a result, most Christian conciliators report that the majority of their cases involve broken marriages, many of which are headed for divorce. In this keynote, Ken will outline key biblical, emotional and legal principles and strategies that can be used to turn these cases back from the precipice of divorce and to help couples turn their deeply troubled marriages into inspiring examples of the redeeming and transforming power of the gospel. These principles and strategies will be relevant not only to individuals who are fighting to save their own marriages but also to friends, pastors and conciliators who are seeking to help other people redeem their marriages.

 Ken Sande

Discerning the Distortions of an Oppressor’s Heart

Walking alongside others in conflict requires that we perceive attitudes and expectations that are not always obvious. When we don’t know what to look for, we fail to discern critical dynamics. Sadly, failing to pick up on the presence of abuse can have detrimental effects as we seek to minister to affected parties. In this session, we will glean from Scripture the distorted desires of an oppressor’s heart so that you can more readily identify the presence of relational or spiritual abuse.

Speaker: Darby Strickland

Navigating Everyday Conflict

We’ve all experienced the pain of conflict tearing at the fabric of our closest and most precious relationships. Conflict is inevitable. In fact, it’s often a prerequisite for deeper trust to develop in our personal and professional lives. But most of us, especially in the church, haven’t been equipped to face conflict and move toward the mess. We’ll talk about how core principles of relational wisdom equip us to navigate everyday conflict in a healthy and wise way.

Rankin Wilbourne

General Workshops

These workshops will cover concepts, skills and resources that may be applied in a wide variety of settings

The Power of Faithfully Wise Anxiety

Anxiety is skyrocketing in the U.S., especially among the younger generations. Why is this? How do the Scriptures orient us toward our anxieties and help us not only respond to, but prepare for them? This breakout will take a fresh look at how praying our anxieties can deepen both our faith in Christ and our love for others in ways that make us more resilient, compassionate and solid in the face of our fears.

Speaker: Alasdair Groves

Friendships as Channels of Grace

Friendships bring us joy, encouragement and support, but also disappointment, rejection and pain. They also provide us with opportunities for spiritual and relational growth. In this workshop we will provide a biblical theology for friendship and study practical ways to that we can protect and nurture our friendships and use a channel of God’s wisdom and grace into the lives of other people.

Speaker: Brian Borgman

Everyday Negotiation Skills

If you’ve read The Peacemaker, or taken part in a peacemaking seminar, you’ve encountered the PAUSE Principle of negotiation. Many of us think of the PAUSE Principle as applying to conflicted relationships only. But, PAUSE can also be used in everyday conversations to help even strong relationships grow stronger. In this Workshop, we’ll explore how godly heart attitudes support the creation of compelling joint-problem statements, the key to negotiating cooperatively. In preparation, please read Chapter 11 of The Peacemaker.

Speaker: Chip Zimmer

RW and Jesus’ Least Obeyed Command

If you had to sum up Christian discipleship in one word, “repentance” would be a compelling choice. But Jesus’ first and most emphasized command may be his least obeyed. Jesus said, “repent and believe,” so why are we, even as Christ’s church, so much more comfortable being believers than being repenters? In what ways do we misunderstand biblical repentance, and what are the barriers to us embracing with thanksgiving the “repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18)? In an angry and divided culture that has turned repent and believe into repent and be canceled, nothing is more critical for the health of all of our relationships than a passionate return to biblical repentance.

Speaker: Vince Vitale

Honor-Shame and Shalom

Our approach is from a broad theological framework:  creation, the fall and redemption.  We are created to give God glory and honor and to receive honor as those in the image of God, living in peace (shalom).  With the fall into sin, people no longer glorify God.  While there is still appropriate honor, sin corrupts honor in two ways:  vainglory and sinful pride.  With the entrance of sin there are two forms of shame:  achieved shame arises from our own sinfulness, and ascribed shame arises from others devaluing us.  Shalom is replaced by conflict with God, with others and within ourselves.  But the triune God comes to redeem.  The work of the Father is portrayed in the parable of the father and two sons.  The Son redeems honor through humility and endures ascribed shame on His path to the cross, providing not only forgiveness but the honor of adoption.  The Spirit enables us to experience honor and overcome the shame of persecution.  Shalom is given to our hearts and relationships.  We close with a joint declaration:  “Proclaiming the Gospel with Adoption in Christ.”

Speaker: Dennis Reiter 

RW Shepherd

These workshops are designed to strengthen pastors’ and other leaders’ ability to model, teach and practice RW, peacemaking and conciliation. Although these workshops will focus primarily on pastoral ministry, the shepherding principles can be used by anyone who is in a leadership or management position, whether in a church, ministry, nonprofit, school or other organization. This training will fulfill some of the requirements of the RW Shepherd Certificate Program.   

RW in Pastoral Ministry

Beset with personal weakness, humbled by inadequacy at every turn, and entrenched in the daily spiritual war for the flourishing of God’s people, pastors can be both overwhelmed and discouraged in the ministry. As a result, that which matters most suffers—our personal walk with Christ, our high calling to serve our family, our integrity in shepherding the flock, and our witness to those who need the gospel. In this session, Pastor Rick will share personal ways that relational wisdom has impacted and improved his life in the multi-faceted responsibilities of pastoral ministry.

Speaker: Rick Haluszka

RW and Marriage Counseling

Providing biblical care and counseling for hurting marriages is a tremendous privilege. Yet, what anyone who has ever come alongside a hurting couple knows, this is not for the faint of heart. In this seminar, we will learn primary ways relational wisdom can be a useful tool in marriage counseling. Applying RW principles to the counselor, the husband, and the wife can enrich each person’s experience. In this way, important conversations and hopeless situations become opportunities for the power and grace of God to be put on display.

Speaker: Rick Haluszka

Introduction to Christian Conciliation

In this workshop we will provide an introduction to the key principles of conflict coaching and mediation and show how they have been used to resolve conflicts and reconcile people in churches, ministries, mission teams and Christian owned businesses.

Speaker: Ken Sande

Redemptive Church Discipline

Although the world and many Christians view church discipline as being judgmental and punitive, the Bible teaches that church discipline, appropriately administered, is a redemptive “rescue mission” that graciously draws straying Christians back to a right relationship with God and other people. In this workshop, we will discuss some of the typical misconceptions and pitfalls of church discipline, such as divisions in the local church and community, and legal risks. We will then set forth the ways that discipline can be carried out in a gospel-centered, redemptive and legally prudent manner.

Speaker: Dave Mikulsky 

 Peace Sower Teams

Peace Sower Teams are in-house teams of gifted volunteers who have been trained to equip others to live out the principles of relational wisdom and biblical peacemaking in their daily lives. These teams are equipped to be both “reactive” (reconciling people in conflict) and “proactive” (teaching and coaching people to develop skills that actually prevent conflict). Ideally each team will include members who serve as RW Presenters, RW Coaches and RW Conciliators. For a detailed description of the Peace Sower Team concept and a report on how these types of teams have already proven to save churches hundreds of hours of pastoral care and thousands of dollars, click here. These workshops are designed to facilitate the establishment of Peace Sower Teams in local churches, ministries, schools and businesses. 

Recruiting, Training and Managing a Peace Sower Team

In this workshop we will walk through the resources and procedures RW360 has developed to enable churches, ministries, mission teams and Christian owned businesses to recruit, training and manage their own in-house Peace Sower Teams. 

Speaker: Ken Sande and David Mitchell

Introduction to Christian Conciliation

In this workshop we will use actual case studies to provide an introduction to the key principles of conflict coaching and mediation and show how they have been used to resolved conflicts and reconcile people in churches, ministries, mission teams and Christian owned businesses.

Speaker: Ken Sande

RW and the Spiritual Discipline of Conversation

When you think of the spiritual disciplines that you are actively cultivating in your life, does “conversation” make the list? Are you a better conversationalist than you were five years ago? Most people find these difficult questions to answer, but they are critical questions to be able to answer with a confident “Yes.” God finds his way into good conversations that eventually lead to the gospel. So, practically and concretely, what would it look like to take day-to-day conversation seriously as an essential aspect of Christian witnessing and discipleship, and to see those conversations consistently leading to others turning to Christ? That is the question I want to explore together in this workshop. 

Speaker: Vince Vitale

How to Lead and Teach for Transformation

Every speaker and leader wants his or her content to lead to changed lives, but far too often we settle for conveying information rather than aiming at transformation. What is a transformational learning context? Could it be that the way we are presenting our material undermines the very goals we have in preparing it? Come join us for this seminar as we look at themes related to “desirable difficulty” and “subversive spirituality” in our teaching, combining the best of modern pedagogical theory with ancient Biblical wisdom.

Speaker: Rankin Wilbourne

RW Coaching

These workshops provide a foundation for developing the coaching skills that you can use to help others accelerate the development of key relational skills

The Model for RW Coaching

The RW model of coaching will be presented through a case study and small group work, exploring how you can use this approach to help other people learn a variety of relational skills.

Speakers: Patti Damiani and Chip Zimmer

The Art of Active Listening

Listening well is a crucial competency that all successful coaches possess. We will present the elements of effective listening and provide opportunities for practice through hands-on exercises.

Speakers: Patti Damiani

Asking Powerful Questions

Asking good questions is a critical requirement of effective coaching and can be harder than it looks. We’ll share tips regarding how to know which questions work well and provide opportunities to practice asking questions that heighten awareness during in-class exercises.

Speakers: Patti Damiani

Conciliation Skills

These workshops are designed for individuals who want to improve their conciliation skills, whether they are serving as a conflict coach or conciliator within their church or on a broader professional basis. (For more advanced training in related areas, please consider attending our Preconference Training.)

Managing Power Imbalances and Abuse

A typical conciliation process assumes a neutral equal relationship between parties and a mediator. However, in complex cases, mutuality may be impossible to foster if power dynamics are not assessed wisely and stewarded lovingly. A Christian conciliator must learn to intentionally and consciously hold power for the flourishing of the vulnerable. Together, we will explore the stewardship of a conciliator’s power, learn how to detect power imbalances in complex cases, and adopt best practices for navigating abuses of power. This course will be a combination of a lecture, brief case studies, and small group discussions.

Speaker: Daniel Teater 

Wisdom for Cases of Domestic Abuse

A person seeking power and control can exploit our peace-seeking strategies to their advantage. So, when coercive control is present, we will need to change how we engage with those under our care. We will build upon what we learned in the general session about an oppressor’s mentality and apply it to abusive marriages so that you can wisely set ministry priorities. 

Speaker: Darby Strickland

Church/Group Reconciliation (Part 1)

The more people involved in a conflict, the more complicated the conciliation process becomes. These two workshops will provide a foundation for addressing many of the unique challenges and opportunities of conciliating group conflicts, whether they involve a church, non-profit, business, multi-party legal dispute or an extended family. Topics will include initial assessments to determine suitability of conciliation, interviews, identifying subgroups and factions, special teaching and homework, caucuses and joint meetings. (These two workshops are interdependent, so workshop #1 is a prerequisite to attending workshop #2).

Speaker: Paul Cornwell

Church/Group Reconciliation (Part 2)

The more people involved in a conflict, the more complicated the conciliation process becomes. These two workshops will provide a foundation for addressing many of the unique challenges and opportunities of conciliating group conflicts, whether they involve a church, non-profit, business, multi-party legal dispute or an extended family. Topics will include initial assessments to determine suitability of conciliation, interviews, identifying subgroups and factions, special teaching and homework, caucuses and joint meetings. (These two workshops are interdependent, so workshop #1 is a prerequisite to attending workshop #2).

Speaker: Paul Cornwell 

Promoting and Marketing Coaching and Conciliation Services

Healthcare, cultural and political events in 2020 have spilled into 2021 with a vengeance, triggering an enormous increase in personal, family, church, employment, and legal conflicts. These events have also created an enormous need for the relationship-healing and conflict-resolving principles of relational wisdom, biblical peacemaking and Christian conciliation. This workshop will describe strategies and resources that you can use to magnify the impact of social media, blogs, personal conversations, free introductory presentations, continuing education credits and strategic networking to generate new opportunities to provide training and conciliation services in both Christian and secular venues.

Speaker: Ken Sande 

Mediation “Onramps” and “Offramps” in Abuse Cases

This is a practical workshop for mediators who work with individuals who want to reconcile a marriage or relationship where oppression or abuse has been a relational dynamic. What will you look for during pre-mediation coaching to determine whether conciliation is appropriate? What will the mediation process look like? When would you take the “on-ramp” to begin mediation? When would you take the “off-ramp” to stop the mediation? Then, what do you do? In addition, we will address how to show respect for and work closely with church leaders in these situations.

Speakers: Debby Mylar and Frank Mylar

Special Applications

These workshops will provide strategies and resources for modeling, teaching and practicing RW, peacemaking, coaching and conciliation is special settings.

Blended Families: Reframing Perspectives, Balancing Relationships and Creating Belonging

This workshop will enable you to gain an increased awareness of the unique challenges and opportunities faced by blended families. It will also equip you to guide families (and relatives) in resolving conflicts and managing the life changes that accompany divorce, remarriage and moving into new stimulating but also complicated relationships. This training will be of value to those who live in blended families as well as those who assist or interact with blended families, including counselors, conflict coaches and mediators.

Speaker: Susan Millsaps

Sowing Peace in Christian Schools

One of the most valuable skills a Christian school can instill in its students is how to build strong relationships. As important as academic excellence is, relational excellence can have a far greater impact on students’ overall success in life, including the quality of their friendships, work relationships, marriages, parenting and, most importantly, their witness for Christ. In this workshop we will describe how Christian schools are using the concepts of relational wisdom and biblical peacemaking to reduce conflict and enhance the relational skills not only of their students but also of their administrators, teachers, board members and parents. A highly relational school is a peaceful and productive school!

Speaker

Speaker: David Kelly

Relational Skills for Families and Children

Ever feel hopeless and helpless as you strive to live at peace within your family? Who hasn’t? Corlette will share how biblical peacemaking and relational wisdom have given her and her family a “track to run on” in the midst of relational challenges. The Sande’s have navigated the many seasons of life ranging from Ken’s growing and demanding ministry responsibilities, Megan and Jeff’s early childhood and teen years and Corlette’s zealous approach to homeschooling. Each season was filled with many joys, as well as countless opportunities to “practice what they preached!”

Speaker: Corlette Sande

Sowing Peace in the Workplace

Study after study proves that as managers and employees improve their relational skills, they inevitably see a related improvement in their work performance, job satisfaction and career advancement. Employers see similar benefits from relational skill training, including reduced conflict, lower staff turnover, better creativity and teamwork and greater productivity, resulting in a return of $1.50 to $6.85 for every dollar invested in such training. In this workshop we will explore ways that employers, managers and employees can apply the principles of relational wisdom and peacemaking to produce a work environment that is enjoyable, productive and deeply fulfilling.

Speaker

Speaker: David Kelly

Setting the Prisoner Free

In Hebrews 13:3 we are instructed to “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”  The church has a unique mandate to serve those languishing in prisons, mental institutions, and the needy. The workshop will show how to apply relational wisdom to help institutionalized persons find Christ and the freedom that comes from knowing Him can be transformational for the inmate, law enforcement, and victims. In this workshop, we will discuss RW to promote lasting change in individuals and institutions. We will also examine the need for and use of RW as a crisis intervention tool to train law enforcement officers how to deescalate volatile encounters with emotionally troubled individuals.

Speaker: Claude Allen

From the Speaker’s Podium to the Counselor’s Office: Cognitive Therapy Just God Smarter

This presentation will demonstrate the use of RW techniques in individual and group counseling settings. Consistent with and building on such therapies at CBT, DBT, and ACT, the presenter will review the clinical indications and applications of the skills outlined in the RW Seminar Curriculum. Participants will learn the relevant clinical themes and the “client-friendly”

interventions to engage individual clients and group members. Drawing from case examples and group development from his private practice, the speaker will use role-plays, handouts, and verbatim scripts to illustrate the benefits and the practical use of RW with clients. A model for an “RW Skills Group” will be outlined and differentiated from other types of counseling and coaching groups. This presentation will equip counselors and coaches to bring RW from concept to context to techniques, “from the podium to the pavement,” so clients learn a personal Christian theology to build healthy relationships and pursue and live a life worth living.

Speaker

Using Relational Wisdom to Respond to Issues of Justice and Diversity in the Church or Community

Christians have faced significant challenges in recent years to respond effectively to justice and diversity issues as secular worldviews have sought to redefine terminology and values. This workshop will identify three key differences in secular versus Biblical views and responses to justice and diversity issues. In addition, there will be a discussion of how principles of Relational Wisdom can help Christians better engage churches, workplaces, or the community in understanding the value of the Biblical view in promoting reconciliation and understanding. 

Speakers: James Long and David King

 

Unity in Diversity: Examining How One Group Applied Relational Wisdom in Response to Racial Tensions

This workshop will present a process used by an actual small group, consisting of both Black and White men and women, to increase understanding and support and seek to resolve tensions in response to racial issues and events. The use of Biblical and Relational Wisdom principles and processes will be discussed as critical components in addressing cross-ethnic concerns to increase unity.

Speakers: James Long and David King

    Relational Wisdom In Black and White

    Race, racism and tribalism captured national attention, instilling hate in some, cries for justice in others and confusion in most of us about where are we going as a nation. 2020 started with impeachment of a President, building a wall along the US southern border to keep out immigrants, a global pandemic that disproportionately killed Black people, a White policeman killing a Black man as the world watched in horror, a drunk policewoman killing an innocent black man in his own home, the rise of Black Lives Matter, demonstrations, riots, looting and calls to defund police departments. Where is God in the midst of this chaos? How does the church show appropriate biblical sensitivity to racial injustice (indeed any injustice) while not being pulled into harmful non-biblical social movements. In this session, we will examine the increased racial awareness and tension in America and discuss how RW and peacemaking principals prepare us to be reconcilers in our homes, businesses, churches and communities.  We will apply specific SOG, PAUSE, and other key tools and skills to promote self-examination, repentance, forgiveness, healing and restoration between people of different backgrounds.

    Speaker: Claude Allen

    Recordings: All of our keynote sessions and workshops will be recorded and made available to attendees at no extra cost so they can listen to our entire array of teaching after the conference and also share this training with other members of a Peace Sower Team that has been officially established at their church, school, ministry or business.

    Register today for the 2022 RW360 Annual Conference!

    If anything in the registration process is unclear, please call David Kelly at 406-294-6806, and he will walk you through the registration process personally. We don’t want our registration process to cause you any distress!

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