In the world of organizations and organizational behavior we look at how people formulate an organization and how their interactions create, manipulate and establish the culture within the organization. Churches as places of worships are organizations replicating many of the same challenges because once again, people are coming together to impact the culture of the church. Peter J. Frost's article regarding the impact of the Toxic Handler within the organization spoke to my heart with regards to the role of the Toxic Handler within the church, and every church has at least one or more toxic handler. Unlike author Frost, I identify this person as the Peacemaker within the church.
So what is a Peacemaker? Why do we need a Peacemaker within the church? Many would argue the leader of the church, the Pastor, should be responsible for ensuring there is peace within the church, but I believe the role pertains to those God anoints to be peacemakers which can be anyone from the Pastor down to the Custodian. The peacemaker recognizes the importance of helping reduce the divisions commonly found in so many of our churches today. First and foremost, he or she practices God's word ensuring they listen carefully to the issues without becoming part of the conflict and without concluding they have all the answers. A peacemaker focuses on reading between the lines to ascertain the true cause of the pain, does not take sides even if he or she has one, and helps individuals talk through the pain. If trusted, they can bring a level of greater understanding of the word and its application to the conflict at hand. Peacemakers are well connected throughout the church and the various groups within the church, they have the uncanny ability to walk on the waters that divide the various groups. Succeeding in the role of peacemaker involves a deep understanding of self, the strengths and flaws existing within self enabling us to ensure his or her strengths are a blessing to others while keeping individual flaws in check to prevent an escalation of the conflict.
There is a lot to be said about identifying the role, talents, and skills of a true peacemaker. Each of you is challenged to search within yourselves and assess if you are one of God's peacemakers; one who has been critical to addressing conflict and creating peace. Perhaps you simply never realized that this is a calling a gift God has given you and the importance of being more intentional in using this gift. Are you a peacemaker, able to alleviate the toxicity existing within your church, workplace, or school? Jesus provides us with a prayer reminding us He was a peacemaker seeking his people to be united as one body in Christ. Here is his prayer for peace:
22"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24"Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.…
John 17: 17-24
Let us come together in one mind and one accord to celebrate being the Peacemakers where ever we are! Just a little advice to go!