Lifelong Learning- “Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict”

“This is the best, most spiritual book on dealing with church conflict I have ever read,” said John Freedman, Washington Conference President a couple weeks ago to all of his pastors. “That’s why we’re giving a free copy to each pastor in the conference.”

The book Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict is published by Moody Press and is available on Amazon.com.

Here is a review, by Pastor Tom James of the Centralia Seventh-day Adventist Church District, that was read to the pastors.

“Making Peace is more about Spiritual Growth than about conflict. Van Yperen is a skillful writer who argues that conflict in the church is controlled by God to bring about Spiritual Growth and Renewal. Rather than viewing conflict as the problem, Van Yperen shows that conflict is the vehicle that brings us closer to God and to each other.

The book relies heavily on the author’s experiences as a designated interim Pastor. In this role, Van Yperen demonstrates from years of conflict resolution in churches as a guide for the reader to a deeper understanding of how God activates the tools of His Spirit, His

Word and His People to turn the Devil’s plot of Disruption into Spiritual Victory.

The book is a significant blessing to me by pointing out weaknesses in my ministry. I have never questioned my relationship with The Lord, or my confidence in His Word, but I have often demonstrated a lack of faith in His People. This what I gained the most from this book. The Community of Faith is empowered by God to bring about Spiritual Healing by applying biblical principles in conflict.

Van Yperen skillfully demonstrates these principles by first showing examples that do not work. He then guides the reader to simple and practical ways of accountability that brings healing and community back to a hurting church.

I recommend this book and also plan to implement its principles into my church management style.”

Here are excerpts from the Introduction (p10-15) “It was Sunday morning, the day after our report of findings to First Church. I was making my way to the pupit to give announcements and welcome visitors to morning worship…. First Church was in deep crisis…. The night before I had asked the entire governing board to resign and for the church to be placed on emergency rehabilitation status under the direction of the denomination. It was now my task to lead the church through the process of confronting, confessing and reconciling the conflict. I made my way to the lectern with two concerns: first, that the church face the crisis honestly and directly, and, second, to see the coming weeks as an opportunity to see God work…”

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