The socially and politically charged environment in which we live has placed a tremendous burden upon us all? William Jessup University Professor of Intercultural Studies and Christian Leadership, Daniel Gluck, comments, “Men with guns fire into random crowds. Tweeters rant on social media, shooting back and forth like a Wimbledon match. Breaking news explodes on every network, like popcorn kernels bursting in the kettle. Loved ones embrace more tightly, looking into others’ eyes with depth and pain.”
Gluck continues, “A key question troubles me: what kind of leadership is required for situations like these?” Men of INTENTION ask this same question because all of us strive to lead within our respective spheres of influence. Leadership is a phenomenon that primarily arises in/around crisis and conflict. Maybe that is why the Apostle Paul urges Christ-followers to be “ministers of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17 – 21).
Gluck strongly believes that “leadership is crucial for reconciliation” and reconciliation is the only way to restore right relationship among “warring factions”. Among the numerous ways leaders promote reconciliation, three especially shine. Perhaps they’ll shed light on our potential response to the crises around us.
In a recent blog Professor Gluck suggests that “Ministers of Reconciliation” were especially committed to the following:
Prayer: Leaders prayed before conflict, during conflict, and after conflict. Prayer was both a proactive and reactive practice to promote unity.
Preaching Peace: Leaders clung to a moral compass, a biblical ethic that drove their speech and action. They called others to join forces around a greater good, rather than divisive agendas.
Inclusive Language: Leaders flavored their speech with language that fostered inclusion, rather than contention. Instead of reactive rants, they used great care to speak in ways that would amalgamate disparate factions.
That’s good isn’t it!
In light of escalating conflict within our world we are encouraged first to pray. God hears us, and prayer changes our heart’s posture. We are implored to speak words of life and truth. Lastly, we are encouraged to think carefully about our language. Do the words we speak unify or divide?
Glock ends with this question: How can you lead today as a minister of reconciliation?