The Gospel is the good news
that God has made peace with us through Jesus Christ,
so we can now have peace with others.
Rocky Mountain Community Church is committed to helping believers to respond to conflict in a way that demonstrates the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. We do this through the ministry of all of our members, lay leaders, and pastoral staff.
In addition, we have a Peacemaking Team to help our church on its journey toward developing a true culture of peace--a church environment where people are consistently expressing Christ's love in their relationships with one another and reflecting that Christ-like love to a watching world.
The heart of each person on our Peacemaking Team is primarily for the gospel: the truth that it is only because God first reconciled us to himself through Christ, that we can be reconciled to one another here on earth. We have a heart for reconciliation and a particular love and care for those who are experiencing the pain of conflict. Close behind our heart for the gospel is our heart to serve our church leaders and advance their vision for Rocky Mountain Community Church.
The way a peacemaking team serves RMCC is through two primary avenues:
- Teaching. The team helps to "embed" biblical peacemaking into the life of the church by ongoing teaching to new members' classes, pre-married classes, mission teams, and anywhere else that it's appropriate within the church. In addition, team members support the outreach ministries of RMCC by teaching biblical peacemaking in the community when invited by other churches, parachurch ministries, and community organizations.
- Assisting. The peacemaking team will be skilled in assisting others who are in the midst of conflict and struggling to work through it in a God-glorifying way. Often this assistance will be as informal as casual input and advice to one individual over a cup of coffee. At other times, it might be more formal, working with several in dividuals together to help them be reconciled in a God-glorifying way. Peacemaking assistance (conflict coaching, mediation, and arbitration) is available to both members and non-members on Wednesday Reconciliation evenings and by appointment as needed.
Because this ministry (like many others) requires certain skills and tools that don't typically just come naturally, teams are specifically trained in biblical peacemaking.
Why Does Rocky Mountain Community Church Have A Peacemaking Team?
The best way to answer that question is through six Because's:
- Because of the Gospel. As you have seen repeated throughout Peacemaker® Ministries' materials, peacemaking is at the heart of the gospel. Unless God had chosen to make peace with us through the blood of his Son, there would be no peace with others...but because of the blood of his Son, we now can have peace with one another. Peacemaking teams help their churches live out that amazing truth, constantly pointing others to the hope of the gospel.
- Because there's conflict in the church, and people need help with it. Ever since the earliest days of the church, conflict has been a near-constant in church life. As Paul points out in Philippians 4:2-3, even the godliest people can find themselves in a conflict that they need help to work through. Paul didn't tell his friends to "just work it out;" he asked another dear friend in the church to help them work it out. Teams do the same - they help their brothers and sisters when they need help.
- Because people LEAK. Isn't teaching peacemaking enough? No! While teaching is an essential step in changing a church's culture, we all know that it doesn't take long for that knowledge to leak out and fade away. People forget what they've heard; and new
members come who haven't heard it at all!
Research suggests that people forget 87% of what they are taught within 30 days. Without a peacemaking team to encourage and re-teach, it simply won't stick.
- Because God wants transformed lives. While it's important to refresh teaching that has "leaked out," there's something even more important at stake. Peacemaking isn't just about knowing a bunch of tools, skills, and acronyms(!): it's a transformed way of life - people truly living out the gospel in their daily relationships. The wider role of the peacemaking team is to help people be transformed by the reconciling power of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection.
- Because God calls his children to serve their leaders and to advance their vision to build his church. Isn't peacemaking the pastor's job? No: as we see in Acts 6:1-7, in order for pastors to devote themselves to teaching and shepherding, other ministry responsibilities need to be shared among qualified and capable believers. Every member of the body must play a role in order for the church to grow and be fully effective in ministry.
A peacemaking team will contribute powerfully to a church's mission, vision and core values by promoting healthy relationships, spreading the gospel, and boosting community witness and church growth through the irresistible power of transformed lives. Be sure to discuss this aspect of the peacemaking ministry with your leaders.
- Because someone needs to "Guard the Flame." While God certainly calls pastors to model peacemaking with their lives and to support it from the pulpit, it's not reasonable to expect them to stay current with all the skills, tools, and "best practices" needed to run an effective reconciliation ministry. It is the role of the team to become the peacemaking "center of excellence" and, as Peacemaker® Ministries centrally supports church-based ministries, the team is the natural home for that support.
For more information, please see Peacemaker Ministries' website > Peacemaking Teams
If you need help with a conflict, please click here for Peacemaking Assistance.