Saturday, February 11, 2006

Church as Reconciliation Center

From a recent message on living the shared life...

I think the world desperately needs a working model for conflict resolution. We need to learn how to disagree with someone without ridiculing them or divorcing them. It seems like everyone I know is quick to say how much they "hate conflict" and it's no wonder. No one likes to do something when they are clueless.

I think the working model I'm looking for is supposed to be the church. I’m convinced that one of the primary purposes of the church is to be a reconciliation center on earth- a training ground for conflict resolution. We are supposed to become experts at this. And when we do, the world will get to see God up close in how we treat each other. Unfortunately churches have failed miserably at this. We can follow Jesus for decades all the while harboring anger and resentment toward people that are closest to us.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t change. We can do better than that. And when we do the world will sit up and notice. They’ll see God in our midst and instead of running away from church, they’ll run to it, because they’ll see that we have the answers they are looking for. They long for these answers because God made them relational, just like us.

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