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Six Steps to Settling Differences

After two failed attempts, I asked a pro to lead the meeting. Here's what he did.

Six months into our church plant, the two most influential families had a fight. Nasty words were exchanged, battle lines drawn. Both sides began recruiting people to their cause. Something had to be done, but what? I held separate meetings with the two parties, but that just made things worse.

"Lord, help me," I prayed desperately. I set up another meeting with both families.

Then I witnessed a divine intervention. As I fretted over the coming confrontation, Ron knocked on my office door. Unlike others, however, he didn't come to complain.

"Would you like some help holding a peace conference?" he asked. Ron is a school principal, well versed in conflict resolution. I gratefully accepted his offer.

Ron led the meeting gracefully, compassionately, and thoughtfully. It was a great success. At the beginning of the "peace conference," the two sides wouldn't even look at each other. Afterward, they were laughing and hugging. Not only did he help resolve the biggest conflict we'd ever had, he taught ...

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