An Apology That Changed Everything

One ministry that has blessed our pastor and been used in our church is Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom 360, both by Ken Sande. Many ministries appeal to the Bible, but often just sprinkle a few verses on their work. We appreciate Peacemaker and RW360 for going to the very core of God’s truth in Scripture, and then applying the principles to help God’s people. We want be the kind of peacemakers Jesus commanded in the Sermon on the Mount!

Sometimes conflict and peacemaking is so uncomfortable, we might wish it didn’t even happen. Read Ken Sande’s account of how this happened to him while in graduate school, and be encouraged how God can use our worst conflicts for His glory. (Side note: Pastor Brian knows the pastor’s daughter in the story below. God is still using this church!)

When Ken Sande was in Law School, he was bringing his friend Cindy to church:

“Cindy was struggling in her spiritual life and disillusioned with her church. Thinking she might benefit from my church, I had invited her to worship with me one Sunday. Moments after we took our seats, Pastor Erbele surprised everyone. He called for the attention of the congregation and asked one of the elders to come forward. Suddenly I remembered that these two men had had a heated discussion during the previous week’s Sunday school class. “On no!” I thought. “Pastor is going to rebuke him in front of the whole church!” I was already embarrassed as my pastor continued.“As most of you know,” he said, “Kent and I had an argument during Sunday school last week. Our emotions got out of hand, and we said some things that should have been discussed in private.” As I thought of the first impression Cindy must be getting, my stomach sank, “Of all the days to bring someone to church,” I thought, “why did I pick this one?”

I was sure this incident would discourage Cindy and destroy her respect for my pastor. Pastor Erbele put his arm around Kent’s shoulders and went on. “We want you to know that we met later that afternoon to resolve our differences. By God’s grace, we came to understand each other better, and we were fully reconciled. But we need to tell you how sorry we are for disrupting the unity of this fellowship, and we ask for your forgiveness for the poor example we gave last week.” Many eyes were filled with tears as Kent made a similar statement. Unfortunately, I was so worried about what Cindy was thinking that I missed the significance of what was happening. Making a nervous comment to Cindy, I opened the hymnal to our first song and hoped she would forget about the whole incident. The rest of the service was a blur, and before long I was driving her home. We made light conversation for a few minutes, but eventually Cindy referred to what had happened: “I still can’t believe what your pastor did this morning. I’ve never seen a minister do something like that. Could I come back next week?”

During subsequent visits, Cindy listened intently when my pastor spoke. Having seen the power of the gospel in his life, she was eager to hear about the salvation and freedom she could experience by trusting in Jesus. Within a month, she committed her life to Christ and made our church her spiritual home.”

Praise God for how He used a terrible conflict in a church to truly bless Cindy’s life! Where is Jesus calling you to be a peacemaker? Do you remember His promised blessings when we make peace (Matthew 5:9)? Let’s continue to strive – not to sweep conflict under the rug – but to bring it out into the open to give glory to Christ!

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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1 Response to An Apology That Changed Everything

  1. This is Kinos musavengana calling from zimbabwe our issue still waiting for help in Jesus s name

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