Come and See
Peacemaking: a ministry to which we all are called
“Redemptive.” That was my answer almost three years ago when asked on the last day of Alliance Peacemaking training what peacemaking means to me. It has not proven wrong over time.
I’ve seen God be redemptive by restoring and healing relationships. Redemptive by strengthening the community of saints. Redemptive by freeing us leaders from an outcome-driven mentality. Redemptive by allowing us to participate with Him in His great plan of redemption and reconciliation.
Little did I know that a few years after that seminar, I would ask the same question, now as an Alliance Peacemaking facilitator, to two groups of C&MA pastors and leaders. One was in English in Colorado Springs and the other in Spanish in Orlando.
Tears and Laughter
God showed up in both seminars not only through the teaching of biblical principles, which are countercultural to every culture, but also through personal encounters with Him in the midst of brokenness.
The testimonies were many and varied among the diverse group of men and women of different ages, vocations, generations, and cultures. We shared much: from tears to laughter, from giving hope to receiving peace, from honest confessions to sweet freedom, and from living in isolation to living in community.
Is it possible to experience all this in a couple of days? The answer is an emphatic “yes!”
None of us team members could take credit for the outcome. It was not forced or manipulated. God moved, and this was the result at both trainings. The work of the same Author, the same Holy Spirit, abides in every child of God.
Genuine Internal Peace
Sometimes we get so familiar with Christian concepts that we miss the heights, depths, reality, and implications of a relationship with the living God.
These are valid questions that demand real answers. Consider Ken Sande’s insight in his book The Peacemaker: “[I]t is impossible to know genuine internal peace unless you also pursue peace with God and others.”
Right relationships with God and others must be strived for. The result is peace that passes all understanding. We make war; we must also make peace. This is why Alliance Peacemaking exists: to help us answer those questions and equip ourselves to connect with God and with others as ambassadors of reconciliation.
A Way of Life
Alliance Peacemaking Ministries led by Rick Stein provides trained, experienced, and gifted people from across the Alliance family to bring personal, Christ-centered help with conflict coaching, mediation, and crisis intervention at any level of conflict. It helps and equips the saints in the ministry of reconciliation. The goal is to change the culture of The Alliance so that breathing God’s grace—even in conflict—remains part of our DNA.
Who can say he or she is free of conflict in this life? All of us fall short of the glory of God, but God uses conflict to soften our edges, transform our character, and define our relationships.
In other words, biblical peacemaking is a magnifying lens that first points inward, pushes us God-ward, and then sends us outward, affecting all of our relationships.
Peacemaking is not a program to improve us as Christians or a process to fix our immediate problems. Rather, it is a way of life for all gospel-driven individuals to pursue.
Can you visualize a healing community where, in Henri Nouwen’s words, “wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision; and mutual confession then becomes deepening of hope; and shared weaknesses become a reminder to one and all of the coming strength”? I can. And we do it in Alliance Peacemaking. Just come and see!
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9). In a world desperately in search of peace, may we all embrace the call of being peacemakers.
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