New pastors graduate from seminary trained in biblical exposition, well-ordered worship, and sound theology---but with little knowledge about the crucial job of conflict resolution. Poirier emphasizes the importance of a reconciliation ministry, provides a theological framework for peacemaking, and offers practical tools for facilitating the mediation process. Essential equipment for today's leaders! 352 pages, softcover from Baker.
Many of the Christian books I purchase I donate or re-sell after reading them. This one however, will take its place among the few titles on my bookshelves. Having been a pastor for 25 years, I have seen many conflicts erupt again and again in congregations. Usually they are not handled in a biblical manner, simply because most church leaders and pastors do not know how to do so. Poirier here gives solid, Biblically-based insight on how to be a peacemaking pastor in a society increasingly obsessed with personal rights and public litigation. This book is not an easy read, but worth the time and effort required to absorb its contents.If we all lived in Mayberry, with the only church struggles being the constant gossip of Clara or the grating voice of Barney in the choir, then this book would be unnecessary. The struggles in our churches today however, are far more complex and volatile. The author's example of whether or not a registered child molester should be allowed membership in a church is one striking example of situations in which strong, passionate arguments can be made for both sides of an issue.This book is a great investment for any pastor or church leader today who is willing to take the time and energy to read it. I also plan to use it as a reference volume, one to which I can refer again and again as I face the knotty issues of ministry.