Conflict is something most people avoid like the plague (or COVID). Why do so many sidestep conflict? It could be because of the way it makes us feel. Most conflict triggers anxiety, discomfort, accelerated heart rates and feelings of insecurity, angst and maybe even aggression. No wonder we typically avoid it!

But what if you were thoroughly trained to enter a potentially combative situation knowing how to diffuse and even resolve it? Would your feelings about conflict change? Would you even welcome an opportunity to settle differences between two opponents? My guess is you would.

Training makes all the difference. Imagine a soccer team that has never practiced together and now needs to play in a tournament. They don’t stand much of a chance. Or a chess player who’s only read about the game but never played it. Or a boxer who doesn’t understand the subtleties of the sport because he’s never had an experienced coach to guide him with good advice and the latest techniques. You get the picture.

Resolving conflict is the same as these examples mentioned above. Whe I want to expren we receive good solid training, get our questions answered and have ways to practice what we’ve learned, the anxiety dissipates and is replaced with confidence…in God and the training that has prepared us.

Our collective churches have several task forces designed to study, research and then teach and train about areas in our churches we want to strengthen. The Unity Task Force has decided that conflict resolution is one of those areas. David Jung, RPC, Q.Med, and minister of the Winnipeg Church of Christ, is doing a great job spearheading the Peacemaking Training Program which includes this topic. Earlier this year, David held an intensive training session for the representatives of our 34 regions around the world, teaching the do’s and don’ts of conflict resolution. In turn, those representatives will teach others within their regions.

Here in Brazil, Izildo Moura is one of our representatives. He has been a disciple for three decades and is a member of the ICOC in Salvador, Bahia. He received excellent virtual training given by David Jung in conflict resolution in February 2021.

Izildo found it so beneficial that he was eager to share the knowledge and techniques learned with the brothers and sisters in Brazil. He organized a training workshop that was held in four virtual meetings in June and July of this year with the support of Denilson Campos from Brasilia, inaugurating the online teaching portal for the Portuguese speaking churches, called “Walking Together with Jesus Christ.” Brothers and sisters from several states in Brazil participated in the course.

Here is what they had to say about the training:

I want to express my satisfaction and gratitude to God and my brothers for the opportunity to grow in my ability to resolve conflicts, inspired by the greatest peacemaker of all, our Lord Jesus Christ, the prince of peace! During the course, we were presented with various support tools for conflict situations, practical applications through interaction between participants and the sharing of person experiences during the proposed exercises. One of the tools I liked the most was the emotions graph (triggers, emotional growth, quality of judgment and recovery). Understanding these stages of the conflict fills me with the courage to face difficult conversations and conflicting situations, as a participant of them or as an intermediary, which lightens the load of the ministry and helps me be more effective, while of course always considering the power of prayer, the action of the Holy Spirit and of the word of God .” – Marcos Araujo, Evangelist, ICOC Belo Horizonte, Brazil

For me, the conflict resolution course was very helpful. In conflict situations, I naturally have a defensive attitude, which does not contribute to a balanced solution of disagreements, in accordance with Christian principles. However, the tools learned in the course will help me keep my heart ready to serve others and learn from these difficult situations. Especially the topics of self-control and analysis (curiosity and judgment) will be helpful for me in relationships in different environments (work, church, family, etc.). I thank all the brothers involved in the preparation of the material and in the administration of these classes .” – Denilson Campos, Church Council Member, ICOC Brasilia, Brazil 

For me, the discovery of the terms of ‘peace breaker’ and ‘peace faker’ made a lot of sense, as well as the Seven Strategies for self-control. This will be very useful to me in my life as a whole: in marriage, raising my children (who are now one year and three months old), and mainly at church. It will help in training others to be leaders and it will enable me deal with the conflicts that inevitably exist in the church. Thank you again!” – Leandro Carneiro, Evangleist, ICOC Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

If you have not already received this same training, ask your church leaders about it. According to Izildo Moura and the Brazilian participants, it is highly recommended!