Peacemaking in the Church and Beyond - Lesson 3

Discussion of the Gospel

This lesson is a discussion of the gospel, based on the transcript provided. The speaker asks how the listeners respond to the gospel and discusses its applicability to everyday life. They touch on the tension between living in the world and living for the gospel, and how it is difficult to live out the gospel in society. They also discuss the impact of the gospel on society, including bringing reconciliation and creating heaven on Earth.

Rick Sessoms
Peacemaking in the Church and Beyond
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Discussion of the Gospel

Lesson: Discussion of the Gospel

I. Description of the gospel

A. Initial reactions

B. Applicability of the gospel to everyday life

C. The tension between living in the world and living for the gospel

II. Understanding the gospel's impact on society

A. Bringing reconciliation to society

B. Heaven on Earth

C. Difficulty of living out the gospel

  • Learn about the crucial role of leadership in conflict resolution, explore the various types of conflicts in the church, and understand the importance of building a peacemaking culture to prevent and address conflicts effectively.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the growth and crisis of the global church, with a focus on Africa, and learn about the tragic Rwandan genocide. You will examine the historical background of these crises, the church's role in addressing them, and the need to move beyond the Gospel of sin management. Embracing the four-chapter gospel, you will understand the church's responsibility as a community of reconciled people, embodying God's reconciling work in the world.
  • You will gain insights into the gospel and its applicability to everyday life, as well as its impact on society, including bringing reconciliation and creating heaven on Earth. The discussion acknowledges the difficulties of living out the gospel in society and the tension between living in the world and living for the gospel.
  • In this lesson, you'll gain insight into the sparks that ignite conflict in the church, understand how conflicts can escalate, and discover the importance of developing peacemaking skills and fully embracing the gospel to foster unity and resolve conflicts.
  • You will learn about conflict culture in the church, which is an inherited culture for resolving conflict shaped by visible and invisible elements and assumptions and values that drive conditioned responses, and how recognizing and addressing it can lead to healthy conflict resolution.
  • This lesson explores how pastors and church leaders address people-pleasing cultures, examining the attitudes and actions of laissez-faire, controlling, and peacemaking leaders, and discussing the role of the church in promoting peacemaking, involving others, and establishing support systems.
  • Crafting a culture of peace requires three building blocks: having a passion for the gospel, unified leadership that exhibits a shepherd's heart to protect and guide, and embracing a peacemaking theology. By focusing on these building blocks, we can create a harmonious society that avoids the slippery slope towards violence.
  • This lesson highlights the significance of unified leadership within the church, demonstrating how effective leadership can help overcome crises and conflicts. By examining factors that contribute to unity and disunity among leaders, you will gain insight into the importance of addressing issues such as control, communication, differing gifts, competition, and qualifications in order to maintain a cohesive and gospel-centered leadership team.
  • You will gain insight into the importance of preparation and certain characteristics that need to be in place before conflict in order to build a united leadership team, using an analogy of running a marathon.
  • This lesson provides insights on understanding conflict and developing a peacemaking theology, teaching you how to respond biblically and create an approach that honors God and benefits those involved in the conflict.
  • You will learn practical steps to overcome conflict by reflecting the glory of God, responding with humility and grace, prioritizing unity over self-interest, speaking the truth in love, and pursuing forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • By learning practical peacemaking tools and focusing on communication, you'll enhance your ability to resolve conflicts by mastering responsible listening and speaking, enabling you to better understand others and communicate your message more effectively.
  • You will learn about the importance of listening as a spiritual practice to connect with God and others, and how being open and attentive to God's voice through listening can lead to greater awareness of His presence and deeper relationships with Him and others.
  • Gain insights into the barriers to good listening, the 600 word gap between listening capacity and speaking rate, and the objectives of responsible listening to improve communication and build trust in relationships.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the vital role of responsible speaking and listening in conflict resolution and how taking responsibility for understanding others and being understood can improve the chances of successful outcomes, along with strategies to enhance communication.
  • Learn to manage the Grapevine, an informal communication network, and understand the roles of Centrals and Peripherals in sharing information, as well as conflict mediation techniques and the importance of acknowledging and accommodating uneven tables in disputes.
  • This lesson highlights the crucial role of peacemaking beyond the church, touching on the history of American evangelicalism, race relations, and the inspiring story of Koinonia Farm, which exemplifies the importance of fostering reconciliation in a divided world.

How conflict and leadership intersect..

Dr. Rick Sessoms
Peacemaking in the Church and Beyond
Discussion of the Gospel
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Now I'm just going to stop there and ask the question, How do you respond to that? How do you respond to this? Description of the gospel. I see smiles or those smiles like, you've got to be kidding me. I like it, Rick. You have to get it. You got it. They're excited about I believe this. They're excited about this. Yeah, that's pretty cool. Sound a little bit like John Calvin and Abraham Kuyper one. But seriously, what what is your what is what is what is going on inside of you as I see this? Well, we need the gospel every day, every minute. It's not what saved always say on the mike is going to every part of our lives. It's so true. It's applicable to every part of our lives. I knew Jesus knew that we had to live in the world, but not the other world. But there is church and there is state. So I have a little bit of complexion of thought as I'm listening to you. You're talking about heaven right here on Earth. This the way I. See. Yeah. This is a hard gospel to live in. But I don't think it's just heaven. I think it's here because we are to bring reconciliation here. It's not just some pie in the sky type of thing. See, that's what's happening in Rwanda. That's what's happening in other places, as if it has been truncated. Because it's just easier that way. Individuals, we come from a Western mindset individual, so that's what we think. Your points well taken in Rwanda. What I didn't say is that when the missionaries decided to sort of side with the government, their feeling was, well, if we don't do that, it might compromise our ability to proclaim the gospel.

[00:02:22] And over time, we see the devastating effects of not living out the whole gospel. But focusing on the gospel of sin management. Ended up with such tragedy of proportions that you and I can't imagine. And yet we see this repeated over and over and over again that sometimes we say, well, we'll focus on this because it you know, if we really get into these issues about reconciliation and and justice and and questions of really being ambassadors, of redeeming redeeming agents, then it may compromise our ability to to really be good witnesses. And and sometimes that has comes back to bite us. I think that's kind of what you were alluding to there. It's interesting when you look at Christendom, just two streams of the church and there's the the social action, social justice kind of stream of churches that kind of move in that direction. And as good as that is, some of those churches have lost the gospel in the process. They focused on social actions, social justice, but they've lost the message of Christ. That's a great point. And then then there's the evangelicals. And I think we've held firmly to the the the gospel. We held firmly to personal holiness. We're all spiritual growth, but we've lost we maybe we've never had the social action, social justice stream. So a great point. The turn of the century when in the turn of the last century, in the 20th century, when the quote, liberal element began to invade America, the fundamentalist began to separate from that. And what eventually happened in simple terms, is that. The more main, the more liberal element of the church began to focus, as you say, on social gospel and did not preach redemption, salvation, etc., basically had a lower view of Scripture and the person of Christ and so forth.

[00:05:02] The fundamentalist approach was to go the opposite direction because anything that was identified with social action and social social work was perceived as as liberal. And so the focus became personal piety and individual salvation. Um, the the interesting thing is that when I was in Bible school in the early seventies, it seems like a long time ago now. But I remember my first year of Bible school being handed a book by a man named Sherwood Wert, and he worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. And the title of the book was one of the most controversial books of its time. It was called The Social Conscience of the Evangelical. And he was one of the first that began to try to bring these two issues back together. And of course, the Lausanne movement under Billy Graham has started it and there have been others. But there's been a real effort to try to address what we call the whole gospel in in this in this time. But in in many respects, the church is still struggling with feeling that evangelism proclamation, getting people saved is the gospel. And these other issues are kind of secondary. They're kind of supplementary. And what I'm proposing to you here is there is no word necessarily in the New Testament for evangelism. The word is gospel. And under gospel fits all these things that we have come to understand, to be this living out the kingdom of God and in the presence of one another here. And so this this is why I'm making this emphasis at this point is for us to understand that this issue of reconciliation is core is the very core of what we understand the gospel to be. It's on the same level as as these other issues that we have traditionally seen as the primary role of the church.

[00:07:11] I recently read that if you were familiar with the movie The Blind Side went out about the ruling family and there was a movement to remove that movie from a major Christian bookstore, which was successful because it showed inner city life that would be contradictory to how Christians should live. So you can no longer find that that movie or book in a major Christian bookstore, because I think we have the truncated as gospel so much that it's just that if we don't deal with the world and that's totally, in my opinion, opposed to of Christ, what happens to you?


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