The intense spiritual, racial, political and sexuality conflicts that are polarizing America have flooded into every part of daily life, including the church. As a result, Christians are regularly asking these kinds of agonizing questions:
- “My brother has declared himself bi-sexual, demanded that I use his new pronouns, and forbidden me to share any Scripture that contradicts his beliefs. Is there a way I can share my views and concerns as a Christian without destroying this relationship?”
- “My daughter has told me that if I vote for ___ in the next election, she will never speak to me again. How should I respond?”
- “A coworker mentioned to me that her daughter is planning to get an abortion because a baby will disrupt her education plans. How can I help them choose to give this baby life?”
- “Some people in my Sunday school class criticized our pastor for not preaching about how Christians need to be actively addressing climate change. Other people defended him by saying climate change is a hoax. It got pretty tense. How can we all learn to discuss these types of issues without judging and attacking one another?”
- “My sister has invited me to attend her son’s wedding with his gay partner. I love both of them and am afraid I’ll lose these relationships if I don’t go. What should I do?”
- “My employer is requiring me to attend diversity, equity and inclusion training that violates my conscience. Should I refuse to attend and risk losing my job, or could I participate in a way that helps others see biblical perspectives on these issues?”
- “Dozens of my coworkers and many of my neighbors do not know Christ and have bought into divisive world views. How can I share my faith with them without being canceled as a religious fanatic?”
Many churches experience regular conflict over doctrinal issues, which often turns personal and creates painful divisions. Judging, attacking and canceling others over new cultural issues has created even more conflict. This behavior is fracturing families, friendships and churches every day.. It is also disrupting the workplace and driving exhausted pastors out of ministry. These tensions are magnified by a steep decline in the religious values that used to characterize our nation.
But God is always up to something good. As he has done again and again in times of turmoil, he delights to call and empower his people to be sowers of peace in cultures of conflict (James 3:18). That is exactly what this year’s conference is designed to support and encourage.
This year’s keynotes and workshops will equip you with gospel-based skills that enable you to bridge theological, political and cultural tensions, to listen with discernment and compassion to people with opposing views, to use insightful questions to promote reasonable dialogue, and to engage others with the kind of wisdom, grace and truth that builds mutual respect and promotes the restoration of peace in our families, churches and communities
Our conference will also provide training and resources that enable your church to establish a Peace Sower Team that provides ongoing training, coaching and conciliation services to your congregation and community. Such services have been proven to promote peace and unity, prevent divorces and reduce the counseling burden on pastors (see details here). These teams can also promote church growth through community outreach and evangelism.
God alone can change people’s hearts and behavior, but we can be his willing instruments as we learn how to live out the relationship-changing exhortation of Romans 12:18, “So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Please register today and bring along some friends so you can work together to build a culture of peace in your church and community!
~ Ken Sande
Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.
© 2023 Ken Sande
Would you like to receive future posts like this? Subscribe now!