In mid-January, the Wall Street Journal published an article about church discipline, choosing for its focus a case in which a 71-year-old woman was expelled from her congregation. The article made almost no use of concepts that are central to church discipline - redemption, unity, and discipleship. Almost immediately, a small niche of the blog world erupted at the overwhelmingly negative portrayal of discipline. A few secular blogs picked up on the article, too, and they used it to bolster cynicism.
Off the Agenda decided to take the opportunity to address and to expand upon the core issue brought up in the article - how leaders and congregants can survive the pitfalls of conflict. In the following article, Ken Sande, president of Peacemaker Ministries and a member of Building Church Leaders' Ask the Experts panel, explains several steps that leaders can take to avoid destructive conflict. This article first appeared on Peacemaker's website:
Every year hundreds of churches and ministries ...1