Faithlife Sermons

Gently Engage

equipU: Principles in your Life - Conflict Resolution  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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This is the 3rd section of conflict resolution where we study the importance of gently engaging those in conflict.

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Tell the story about joking with Michelle and pretending you were drawing the “Peacemaker”. First mistake, is thinking it would work. Second mistake, is teaching your wife house to use a real firearm.
Transition into the background of the Colt Peacemaker.
Single Action Armory Colt Peacemaker, 1893
7.5 inch barrel. 13 in overall length. 2.5 lbs
Fired the .45 Colt cartridge and not the .45 ACP
Tell the story about how elderly ladies used to carry them in the Upstate. They never had to pull them, just had to hit you with their purse.
Deemed the “Peacemaker” due to its effective nature
Using it involved extreme consequences, both good and bad
the good -> peace was kept
the bad -> nail in a coffin
Elaborate how this is Step 3 of the conflict resolution progression. Explain the previous two steps briefly and how this step can be so effective and detrimental.
Engaging someone can have both good and bad consequences
good -> with a right heart, desire to glorify God, guidance of the Spirit: God is glorified and conflict is addressed appropriately
bad -> abrasive nature, without examining your own heart, lack of desire to glorify God: more harm can be done
What we’re about to tread into is tough TOUGH stuff that we should not take lightly. But we have been commanded to do so and not only commanded, but we have been given the ‘how to’ guide

Known as the passage for “Church Discipline” -> “Family Reconciliation” -> “Surgery” -> “Replantation”
We see this language used describing the church as the “body of Christ”
Read entire passage
1 Corinthians
Before we dig into this, this applies to those who claim the name of Christ for their justification
I believe these principles can be applied to a general audience, but remember that Scripture speaks to those who are fellow believers. This truth will remind us to trust God’s sovereignty and love if the outcome is not what we want or expected
“Brother” applies to those who love and claim the name of Christ
Tell the story from the book about the two women who parted ways.
“You haven’t hurt me. It’s just that as you were talking, I realized that you’re the first person I can remember who ever cared enough to talk to me like this” - Julia, employer
“By God’s grace, the two women parted in peace” - Ken Sande
Engagement does not always work
That person’s heart may be hardened and the rebuke is not received well
You may have to face consequences
Discuss 2% and your 100% responsibility


A broken body requires surgery and we, as members of the body of Christ, are charged as the surgeons
We are the one’s who have to engage -> we have to put the knife to the skin
As we look at the text, I see 6 points from these verses that stand out to me

6 Points

“Brother” applies to those who love Christ

We just talked about this
This can be used in both communities (secular and christian) but we must realize that this “how to” text and , was directed at believers
Talk about how you work in a secular environment and engaging people is different than here. It shouldn’t be a ‘pass’, it should cause me sadness but I have to realize that they’re not a part of the Body and I cannot use the same surgical techniques

Requires a sin -> not a disagreement

Talk about doing research with Dr. Banik and Dr. Farkas. There are three vastly different personalities there, different cultures, different religions, etc. but we get along. Even talked with Dr. Banik about how there is no “peaceful disagreement” anymore
Before taking this step of gently engagement, it’s worth asking the question of if it’s a sin
Points from Ken Sande’s book
I need to go when a conflict damages my relationship with someone
I need to go when conflict is hurting others
I need to go when conflict is hurting the offender
I need to go when a conflict is significantly dishonoring God
Surgery is required for a broken body, not a boo boo
Urge you to overlook an offense before jumping into engaging too quickly

Discretion should be used at all levels

Professor Mehrabian, 1971, published a book called Silent Messages in which he discussed his research on non-verbal communication.
7% of communication is verbal
93% of communication is non-verbal
55% is body language
38% is tone (not what you say, but how you say it)
So many people have debunked this myth!
Tell story of hard to listen to a speaker who doesn’t deliver it well
We should not use discretion when approaching this person. Be open. Be real. Be clear.
discretion - the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
- a chandelier in a rotting house
We see this progression throughout this text
Rule of thumb: Keep the circle involved as small as possible as long as possible

Engagement does not always work

We just talked about this
Star Wars reference when Luke approaches Jaba the Hutt and offers his two droids so that they will let Han Solo free
He knew that Jaba wasn’t going to accept that!
Compared to the two coworker above, we can’t know the outcome of the engagement. We are just called to be faithful and restore peace
Surgeon on a tumor -> it may work or it may not, I’m required to perform my job

This is not a solo act -> the body of Christ is needed

The penalty for false witness to a crime is the same as the crime itself -

Body of Christ Helps By Prayer


Jesus is present among His people in a special way when the unity and purity of His family are at stake and when the church takes up the duty of discipline.

Spiritual Warfare -
Armor of God
Prayer is needed from all parties involved in conflict. A surgeon performing surgery without a clear mind and heart cannot be effective and the same applies to us.
Question 154.) What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?
Answer.) The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.
- Westminister Larger Catechism
See questions 178-196 in the Westminister Larger Catechism for more on Prayer

Body of Christ Helps By Walking With Us

Tell the story of Staci and how she is extremely intelligent and a wonderful developer but is a bit meek and mild. Talk about how it is comforting to her when there is someone there to stand by her

There is a time to walk away

Church Discipline == Reconciliation
This should cause us to weep
This is not something we should take lightly
There are times even when the surgeon has done all he can do, and it is now out of his hands
Keep and in context during this process

In view of the costly procedure that Jesus has laid out for our reclamation and recovery of brothers and sisters in sin, Peter wants to know the boundaries of his obligation to confront and forgive. Jesus’ “seventy times seven” vividly removes all limits to our obligation to forgive, setting a cap so high that score keeping is impossible. His parable then reveals the logic by which unimaginable divine forgiveness must evoke in its recipients an eager readiness to forgive the minor debts that we exact from one another.

Final Thoughts

What brings the most Glory to God?
What brings you the most benefit?
Sin that plagued you? Because your relationship with God was broken
How can you transfer this to your neighbors?
Be an example of humbleness within the church. Change from within. Appeal to love instead of Command -
How does gently engaging point us to Christ?
The great shepherd that went after the 1 sheep
What brings the most Glory to God?
John 17:20–21 ESV
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Unity within the body of Christ not only glorifies and pleases God, but it bears a witness that is believable
Talk about Francis Chan and talking to his daughter about cleaning her room. She’s not gonna say “Dad I remembered what you said”. She’s not gonna say “Dad I can say ‘go clean your room’ in Greek”. She’s not gonna say “Dad, my friend and I are gonna have a study every week and we’re gonna see what it looks like to clean your room”
“Why do you call me Lord and not do what I tell you?”
As we take on the tough task of “surgery” and “putting the knife to the skin” in engaging conflict, let us realize that

Group Discussion

Discuss these 6 points amongst your group from . In which of these 6 areas do you need improvement so that you can better engage conflict in a gentle way?
In which of these 6 areas do you need improvement so that you can better receive engagement from someone?
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