The Peacemaking Leader

I am currently sitting in a seminar with author Ken Sande, of the book The Peacemaker.  As he is discussing the four building blocks in creating a culture of peace, one of those key building blocks is healthy, pastoral leadership.

When conflict surfaces within the church, leaders tend to take one of two approaches:  1) people pleasing, or 2) controlling.

The people pleasing leader (1 Sam 15:24) is the leader that says, “Fire?  What Fire?” The characteristics these leaders tend to reflect are:  fear of man, lack training, denial, minimizing, pacifying, counseling through the pulpit, and flight. However unresolved offenses and resentments build up and will eventually erupt.

The controlling leader (Mark 10:42) is the leaders that say, “Fight fire with fire!” The characteristics these leaders tend to reflect are:  proud, self-absorbed, forceful, slow to listen and quick to speak, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, eliminate opposition, maintains appearance of unity even though church may be highly polarized beneath the surface. However, as conflict may be suppressed, there will eventually surface a conflict they cannot control.

And so the call is to become a peacemaking leader that shepherds people through conflict (1 Pet 5:2-3), that says, “Let God use this fire for good.” This leader seeks to imitate Christ in putting on the humility and compassion of a shepherd.   These leaders are more about serving than controlling, covered with gentleness, open to differing ideas, and open to personal correction.  The characteristics these leaders tend to reflect are:  listening, drawing people out, understanding their concern and interests, and building genuine agreement and cooperation.

So what role do you primarily assume with conflict?  Have you ever seen someone consistently reflect the peacemaking leader well?  Give an example of how they lead in such a fashion.

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~ by Dave Smith on April 20, 2009.

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