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The Peacemaking Pastor: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Church Conflict Paperback – August 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
Peacemaking: The healing alternative to conflict in the church
Every pastor faces conflict in the church, and Alfred Poirier has this loving reminder: we can run, but we can't hide. Jesus set the example as the Incarnate Peacemaker, and Scripture clearly calls his servant-pastors to be ministers of reconciliation. So the issue is not whether to be a mediator but what kind of mediator to be.
Thoroughly exploring the theology of reconciliation, Poirier adds lessons from personal experience and lists practical steps for effective mediation. With this comprehensive guide, you can embrace peacemaking confidently as a way to glorify God through the overcoming power of the gospel. And, as Jesus promised all peacemakers, you will be blessed.
"This book provides a gospel-centered strategy for equipping pastors to be highly effective peacemakers who can lead their flocks safely through conflict while building a culture of peace in the church."--Ken Sande, president, Peacemaker Ministries
"In solidly scriptural fashion a veteran pastor here explains how the local church through its leaders can become the community of peace and safety that it is called to be rather than the hotbed of hostilities that it too often is."--J. I. Packer, board of governors' professor of theology, Regent College
"A culture of peace should characterize God's covenant people. The Peacemaking Pastor by Alfred Poirier is a solid overview of biblical peacemaking, which can help pastors and their churches carry forth the gospel of peace in their personal, family, church, and community lives."--Tony Evans, senior pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship; president, The Urban Alternative
"Funded by an unusual combination of research and practical experience, Alfred Poirier's The Peacemaking Pastor is essential reading for everyone who cares about the peace and purity of Christ's visible church. Read it before the storm and you will be much better prepared to handle it!"--Michael Horton, professor of systematic theology and apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
Alfred Poirier is chairman of the board for Peacemaker Ministries and serves it additionally as adjunct instructor and mediator. He is senior pastor of Rocky Mountain Community Church in Billings, Montana.
About the Author
Alfred Poirier (M.A., M.Div., D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary) is chairman of the board for Peacemaker Ministries and serves it additionally as adjunct instructor and mediator. He is senior pastor of Rocky Mountain Community Church in Billings, Montana.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is actually a storehouse of information! From a systematically biblical approach to conflict resolution (Pastor Poirier is the Chairman of the Board of Peacemaker Ministries and has extensive experience in Christian conciliation), to the important legal risk management issues associated with redemptive and loving church discipline, this book has it all.
If you are looking for an extensive case study on how to handle a repentant sex offender in your community, read this book!
For detailed information on what it looks like for an entire church to be a part of the restorative aspects of church accountability and discipline, this book contains example after example.
If you are wondering if it is even possible for Christians to have authentic, intimate, REAL friendships and relationships that persevere over time ... read this book and be encouraged and helped.
As an attorney, a Certified Christian Conciliator with the Institute for Christian Conciliation, an author ("Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict", Baker 2005), and a frequent speaker at women's retreats and conferences, I have the privilege of observing "Body Life" (The Bride! The Church!) in contexts across the nation and even around the world. And I can tell you that, beyond a doubt, this book is going to have a profound impact on the ministry of the gospel.
Read it and be blessed!
And thank you, Pastor Poirier, for your labor of both scholarship and love.
Your grateful sheep,
If we all lived in Mayberry, with the only church struggles being the constant gossip of Clara or the grating voice of Barney in the choir, then this book would be unnecessary. The struggles in our churches today however, are far more complex and volatile. The author's example of whether or not a registered child molester should be allowed membership in a church is one striking example of situations in which strong, passionate arguments can be made for both sides of an issue.
This book is a great investment for any pastor or church leader today who is willing to take the time and energy to read it. I also plan to use it as a reference volume, one to which I can refer again and again as I face the knotty issues of ministry.
Even though the book targets pastors, it is also a very helpful resource for all, as we are all called to be peacemakers in the body of Christ. It builds beautifully on The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande, and gives additional guidance in a new, refreshing way.
Much like Sande, Poirer does not attempt to use scripture to back up his practical theology or creative "new approach" to pastoring; he develops his theology and his thesis around the word of God. Poirer makes it very clear that God's word is a word of reconciliation, beginning with the fall and culminating with the defeat of Satan in the end times, everything from Genesis 3 through Revelation 20 is about conflict and how God brought reconciliation to his people.
Poirer gives example after biblical example of mediation and peacemaking. Abraham, Moses, Paul, Barnabas and Jesus all worked as mediators in their pastoral calling. Abraham and Moses actually mediated with God for His people. Barnabas served as a mediator between Paul and the rest of the apostles! The beauty of this exposition as given by Poirer is that we are shown through Scripture how God himself wants us to relate to one another. No part of the Bible denies that conflict will happen, but the Bible does give practical steps on how to resolve the conflict to the glory of God and as a part of our sanctification in Him.
By the end of Pastor, the reader feels confident to explain the gospel of reconciliation as described in the Bible. Peacemaker is a book that makes the reader understand that he knows how to handle a conflict, where Pastor helps the reader develop an understanding for why Christians are to behave this way. Reading Pastor helps a believer to be "prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks...for a reason for the hope that is in [him]." (1 Peter 3:15)
Peacemaker gives the reader a tool to use in an effort to resolve the conflicts that are a part of life and helps the believer glorify God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31) while understanding how scripture mandates such an approach to resolving conflict. Pastor helps the reader to understand that peacemaking is not a tool, but it is the whole toolbox! All of scripture is an approach to peacemaking as a part of the ministry of reconciliation that is given to every believer. (II Corinthians 5:18 ) Just as marriage, parenting, business and church life are representative examples pointing everyone to God's glory and Christ's love for his people as he laid down his life, Pastor helps believers to understand that all of those things should be bathed in the gospel of reconciliation that we have been given. (II Corinthians 5:18 ) In this way we can become "sons of God". (Matthew 5:9)
As "ambassadors of Christ" believers must call all people to be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 28:19) This can be accomplished by understanding that every part of a believer's life must be a part of his ministry of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:18 ) Poirer helps makes this gospel of reconciliation clear; so all believers can better perform the ministry of reconciliation to which we have been called as ambassadors of Christ. (II Corinthians 5:18, 20)