Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church | Calhoun, GA

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Peacemaker Policies

 

PEACEMAKER POLICIES

The Peacemaker's Pledge 
A Commitment to Biblical Conflict Resolution 
 
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that
we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the
world deals with conflict. We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God,
serve other people, and grow to be like Christ. Therefore, in response to God's love and in
reliance on his grace, we commit ourselves to respond to conflict according to the following
principles: 
 
Glorify God 
Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in
the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love, as
we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving
attitude. 
 
Get the Log out of Your Own Eye 
Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God's mercy
and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts; confessing our sins to those we
have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict,
and seeking to repair any harm we have caused. 
 
Gently Restore 
Instead of pretending that conflict doesn't exist or talking about others behind their backs, we
will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose
offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them.
When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask
others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner. 
 
Go and be Reconciled 
Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will
actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation; forgiving others as God, for Christ's sake,
has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences. 
 
By God's grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that
conflict is an assignment, not an accident. We will remember that success in God's eyes is
not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience. And we will pray that our
service as peacemakers will bring praise to our Lord and lead others to know His infinite
love. 
 
Matt. 5:9; Luke 6:27-36; Gal. 5:19-26; Rom. 8:28-29; 1 Cor. 10:31-11:1; James 1:2-4; Ps.
37:1-6; Mark 11:25; John 14:15; Rom. 12:17-21; 1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 4:2-9; Col. 3:1-4; James
3:17-18; 4:1-3; 1 Peter 2:12; Prov. 28:13; Matt. 7:3-5; Luke 19:8; Col. 3:5-14; 1 John 1:8-9;
Prov. 19:11; Matt. 18:15-20; 
1 Cor. 6:1-8; Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 4:29; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; James 5:9; Matt. 5:23-24; 6:12; 7:12;
Eph. 4:1-3, 32; 
Phil. 2:3-4; Matt. 25:14-21; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:18; 1 Peter 2:19; 4:19. 
 
[Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. © 1997 by
Ken Sande. All Rights Reserved. © 2005 by Peacemaker^® Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
PO Box 81130 Billings, MT 59108 406-256-1583 www.Peacemaker.net
mail@Peacemaker.net]
 
 
•To download a PDF version of this document (which includes an area for an individual to sign their name to the pledge), click here.


Protocol for Addressing Concerns with Your Pastoral Staff

It is a normal part of congregational life to experience a difference or conflict with your pastor. However, many pastors have been frustrated, hurt, or even destroyed without cause because members have not always followed biblical principles in addressing their concerns with their pastors. Our church expects our members, leaders, and pastors to use the following steps:

Addressing personal offenses:
1. If you cannot overlook the offense, go directly to the pastor and discuss it between the two of you (Matt. 18:15). It is not appropriate to discuss it with others unless you are seeking advice from a professional counselor. When you approach the pastor you should first:
        a.    Examine your attitude and motives.
        b.    Ask yourself if you have a portion of the responsibility to bear in the issue. If you do, be prepared to make a sincere apology.
        c.    Go to the pastor with a humble attitude, aware that there may be more information that will enlighten your understanding of the issue.
        d.    Be kind but specific. Avoid generalities.
        e.    Give the pastor an opportunity to explain.
        f.    If you still disagree with the pastor, discuss how you are going to deal with your disagreement.
              You can choose to let it go and agree to disagree or you can agree to get someone you both respect as a mediator.


Be hesitant to represent the concerns of others. If others share the same concerns, encourage them to go directly to the pastor.

Guidelines for involving others:
1. Involve others only after you have tried to resolve things privately.
2. Negotiate with the pastor who will be involved. Tell the pastor you need help to understand his/her view and think of possible resolutions. Plan the time and place and tell the pastor what you want to discuss.
3. Give the pastor the privilege of having someone with him/her.
4. Choosing someone who is neutral on the issues rather than someone who agrees with you will make your visit more profitable. If you each choose someone who agrees with you, you will likely have two against two instead of one against one and accomplish very little.

Guidelines for taking it to the “church.” (After having followed the above guidelines, there are multiple possibilities for taking issues to the church depending on the nature of the issue):
1. Issues regarding local church policies, decisions, and activities should be taken to the local church elders, church board, or appropriate committee before expecting the church in business session to address the issue.
2. The conference should not be involved unless you believe the local church is violating denominational policies or biblical principles. If you consult the conference, be prepared to tell them the time and place that you have addressed the issues with your pastor and the local church.
3. Issues you may take to the conference and to whom you should go:
        a. Only issues that you have taken to the pastor and have not been able to resolve.
        b. Issues relating to his/her job performance – go to the Vice President for Pastoral Ministries.
        c. Issues relating to his/her theology – go to the Vice President for Pastoral Ministries.
        d. Issues relating to other ministries in the church – go to the director in charge of that ministry.
        e. Issues relating to illegal or immoral activity – go to the Conference President or Vice-President for Administration.


Addressing issues regarding illegal or immoral activities:
1. It is a serious thing to accuse anyone of illegal or immoral activities. Be very cautious about acting on circumstantial evidence alone. Be open to the possibility that there may be other explanations for the situation and that you may have been given wrong information.
2. Consider the validity and strength of collaborative evidence given by others.
3. Do not take allegations of illegal or immoral activity to anyone within the congregation. To do so would only increase the possibility of rumors.
4. Do not expect the pastor to freely admit illegal or immoral activity. If the pastor is guilty he/she has probably also fabricated a cover story to excuse his/her sin. While you should listen with an open mind you should not accept an explanation to excuse the pastor unless there is also collaborative evidence to support his/her explanation.
5. Tell the pastor that you must report the allegation to the appropriate conference official within 24 hours. Tell him/her to whom you will talk and encourage the pastor to go directly to that official before you do. Do not use this as an idle threat. Tell the pastor it is because of your love for him/her and the church that you must take the next step. Then follow through and pray that the pastor will speak to them before you do.
6. Be aware that the authorities or conference representative may ask you to put your statement in writing and sign it.
7. Do not exercise the role of an investigator. Investigation of immoral and illegal activities is a delicate and specialized work. You can interfere with the success of the investigation if you get involved. You only need to know if there is reasonable evidence or testimony to support the allegation before you confront the pastor and turn the investigation over to the proper authorities.

Keep in mind that the goal for each step should be to resolve the conflict. So apply each step with care and sincerity, and pray that the issue will not have to be taken further. If the conflict is resolved, it is often appropriate to share the good news of resolution with an appropriate group who may know of the conflict.

•To download a Word document of this information, click here.