Greet also the Church in their House
May 20, 2024

Non-formal Training

A Workshop on Interpersonal Reconciliation

Conflict, if dealt with in a Christlike way, can become an opportunity for us to build healthier communities and strengthen relationships within the Church so that it might build better relationships with its community. This is why, in mid-April, we held a workshop that presented a biblical and contextual approach to interpersonal peacemaking for Church leaders from various Arab countries, equipping them with biblical skills and knowledge that are relevant to our context to pursue peace and unity within the body of Christ.

The three-day training workshop focused on practical steps for interpersonal reconciliation, helping the participants to understand their conflict resolution styles and the personalities of others before seeking to resolve conflict. The training had attendees look at confrontation, confession, and identifying issues and confronting “the other” in hopes of restoration. The workshop was attended by 40 Arab Church leaders serving in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, and Kuwait. Talking about the training, Director of Peacemaking and Non-Formal Training Bassem Melki shared:
In many places, the Church has lost its credibility within its community because it lacks the skills to resolve conflict, which is creating divisions within the Church and conflicts that extend beyond it. Through the workshop, we wanted to encourage every member in the body of Christ to take a courageous step towards resolving conflict and equip them to break the vicious cycle of broken relationships. The purpose is to honor God in our approach to conflict resolution, discover our contribution to conflict, and confess our mistakes to God and to others.
Speaking about the workshop, Mazen, who pastors the Redeemer Baptist Church in Syria shared:
I wish that we had access to this type of education when I went to seminary. Knowing how to understand each other, work with each other, and help each other take on responsibilities and tasks that are appropriate for our talents and personalities are invaluable skills for our ministries.
Rafed, our 2020 Bachelor of Theology graduate whom God is using to plant a church in Homs, Syria, shared:
Peacemaking and reconciliation are vital needs for the Arab Church today, so it is important for us not only to be equipped, but to also take what we are learning and share it with our ministry teams, leaders, and our church members. I was especially glad that the case studies gave us practical examples that I can apply directly in ministry. It was also eye-opening to realize that we are all on this path of healing with Christ, even if we are still a bit hurt.
Noura, from the Baghdad Baptist Church, shared:
This training is particularly helpful for us to use in our youth and women’s ministries because there are a lot of people in these ministries who have tension with others and with whom we can be agents of peace and reconciliation. Understanding the impact that confession has, not only on resolving conflict but also on helping an individual heal, really enriched my understanding of our peacemaking ministry.
After the conference, these leaders took the skills and knowledge they gained and are applying them in their contexts and churches. Some of them will come back in September during our Middle East Consultation (MEC 2024) to share their findings and help enrich the body of Christ through a theological  discussion on interpersonal peacemaking and reconciliation.