Living Lifestyles of Reconciliation
Leading others by applying personal peacemaking in one’s own life
Cultivating a lifestyle of reconciliation begins with each of us. God led the way by reconciling us to himself through Christ while we were yet his enemies (Romans 5:10). Christ humbled himself to take on our sins, making peace between God and us, while he himself was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24). All true peacemaking is based on what God has done for us through Christ. Thus, compelled by Christ’s love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are taught in God’s Word to live as peacemakers in our own lives (2 Corinthians 5:14; Romans 8:9; Matthew 9:5; Romans 12:18).
Christian Reconcilers™ are trained to serve in the following roles:
Teaching Biblical Reconciliation
Equipping Christians in biblical peacemaking for lifestyles of reconciliation
Reconcilers—including parents, teachers, pastors, and other leaders— teach biblical peacemaking one-on-one and in groups through devotions, in Bible studies, during preaching, and in other settings (Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 28:20; 1 Timothy 4:11). Throughout the year, reconcilers lead Bible studies on various topics for applying peacemaking to different aspects of daily life. They make recommendations for creating a culture of reconciliation in the family, church, school, and other organizations, and make brief presentations on peacemaking to various groups.
Guiding individuals to apply biblical approaches in specific conflicts
When someone experiences conflict at home, the workplace, neighborhood, extended family, or even in church, he may want some help in understanding how to respond to the conflict in a God-pleasing manner. Such disputes may range from small personal squabbles to major matters involving legal issues. Reconcilers coach individuals by listening to concerns, helping assess the opportunities, and providing guidance through God’s Word (Colossians 3:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Galatians 6:1-2). They not only coach people to resolve conflict, but also to reconcile relationships. At times, they may also refer individuals to other professionals for specialized help (such as attorneys or counselors). As coaches, they do not solve people’s conflicts for them. Instead, they serve as guides to encourage people to “go and be reconciled” (Matthew 5:24).
Assisting two or more people in conflict to reconcile relationships and resolve their material issues
When people are unable to resolve conflict on their own, Jesus teaches to “bring one or two others along” to assist as witnesses (Matthew 18:15-16). Reconcilers serve as witnesses to Christ when they mediate between parties. Using a process to facilitate godly discussion, they coach all parties to apply God’s Word to the conflict. As mediators, reconcilers do not make decisions for the parties but guide them in reaching biblically faithful solutions. They help negotiate material issues, and they encourage people to reconcile through confession and forgiveness. Throughout the process, they proclaim Christ and his ministry of reconciliation.
Deciding substantive matters through a just and fair hearing
For simple cases, church reconcilers may adjudicate disputes. In more complex situations, disagreements may be submitted to professionally- trained Christian conciliators for arbitration. Parties submit disputes to the arbitrator and agree to be bound by his/her decision on the matter (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). Unlike mediation, arbitrators act as judges, making decisions on behalf of the parties. When serving as an arbitrator, a reconciler cannot make decisions on relationship issues such as confession, forgiveness, or love. He or she is limited to making decisions only on material issues. Instead of lawsuits, which can damage relationships and present a poor Christian witness, arbitration by fellow believers provides a private, God-honoring alternative for Christians seeking just decisions.
Christian Reconcilers Are Often Described Having These Qualities
1. This person is a spiritually mature person.
2. This person is regularly in the Word of God.
3. Others go to this person for advice because they trust him or her.
4. This person has great listening skills and does not talk too much.
5. This person demonstrates peacemaking skills in his or her own life, such as admitting his or her own wrongs and forgiving others.
6. This person is not intimidated or scared by emotions and outbursts if they occur, and he or she controls his/her own emotions in highly charged situations.
7. This person is not perceived to be highly opinionated or rigid, and he or she can be persuaded to change his/her mind.
8. This person is willing to speak the truth in love and possesses a high degree of courage and concern for others.
9. Even if you disagree with this person’s stand on an issue, you feel comfortable talking to him/her and can still trust him/her.
10. I would personally recommend this person as a leader in our congregation who could help us work through some difficult conflicts.
Become a Christian Reconciler™
Christian Reconciler™ Certificate Program
You will soon be able to earn a certificate identifying you as having completed the training of a Christian Reconciler™