I would recommend that every church at least be familiar with Peacemaker Ministries and the resources that they offer. I recently had an opportunity to lead a group through their small-group DVD set and study guide, and the feedback was very encouraging, with tangible fruit produced.

They have a church resource set, which contains posters, sermon outlines, a DVD, leader’s guide, and small-group participants’ guides. This is a great way to introduce a “culture of peacemaking” throughout the church. A newer resource is a DVD-based group study designed specifically church leadership teams, called The Leadership Opportunity: Living Out the Gospel Where Conflict and Leadership Intersect.

Here are some free online resources that give you an idea about their approach:

  • Getting to the Heart of Conflict – Conflict starts in the heart. Therefore, if we fail to address the heart in a conflict, then any solution will fall short of true reconciliation.
  • The Four G’s – The biblical system for resolving conflict is captured by “The Four G’s”: Glorify God, Get the log out of your own eye, Gently Restore, and Go and be reconciled.
  • The Slippery Slope – A visual tool for understanding the ways people tend to and ought to respond to conflict.
  • The Seven A’s of Confession – A guide to making a sincere and complete confession.
  • The PAUSE Principle – A biblical approach to negotiation.
  • The Four Promises of Forgiveness – A great way to remember what you are really saying (and committing to) when you say “I forgive you.”
  • The Peacemaker’s Pledge – Complete summary of biblical peacemaking, suitable for churches or organizations to commit to together.
  • Relational Commitments – A way for a church to make a mutual commitment to work together to pursue unity, maintain friendships, preserve marriages, and build relationships that reflect the love of Christ.
  • The Gospel of Peace Mirrored Through Peacemaking – A summary statement of how the gospel of Jesus Christ is at the core of biblical peacemaking.

Let me give you a quick outline of one of these resources (go here for the full version). They talk about The Slippery Slope, a very helpful visual for thinking about the different ways we can and should respond to conflict:

Escape Responses
On the left side are three responses typically used by those who want to avoid or get away from conflict instead of resolving it. Starting with the most extreme, they are:

  1. Suicide
  2. Flight
  3. Denial

Attack Responses

On the other side of the slippery slope spectrum are attack responses, going to the most extreme:

  1. Assault
  2. Litigation
  3. Murder

Peacemaking Responses

In the middle are responses of conciliation, recognizing that the gospel is the key to peace.

The six responses are divided into two categories:

Personal peacemaking:

  1. Overlook an offense
  2. Reconciliation
  3. Negotiation

Assisted responses

  1. Mediation
  2. Arbitration
  3. Accountability

Again, I find these sorts of tools very helpful for providing a grid of responses to conflict.

If you’re looking for helpful books applying peacemaking to various roles and aspects of life, here is what WTS Books carries: