The ProLife Team Podcast 60 | Ken Sande | Talking About Peacemaking

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 60 | Ken Sande | Talking About Peacemaking
Loading
/

Hear Ken Sande and Jacob Barr talk about how peacemaking is helpful in your center, your family and on the Planned Parenthood sidewalk.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr from the Pro-Life Team Podcast. In a recent episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ken Sande, founder of Peacemaker Ministries and RW360. Ken’s work focuses on teaching Christians and organizations, like pregnancy clinics, how to resolve conflicts and develop relational wisdom, which is essentially a biblical form of emotional intelligence. Our discussion centered around the importance of relationships in resolving conflicts, not just in pregnancy clinics but in all areas of life.

Ken emphasized the role of empathy, understanding, and relational skills in handling conflicts within organizations. He shared insights on how conflicts often arise due to a lack of understanding or empathy, and how approaching these issues with a Christ-like mindset can lead to peaceful resolutions. Ken also talked about the practical steps in conflict resolution as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, highlighting the significance of direct, one-on-one conversations for resolving issues before they escalate.

We discussed the training RW360 provides globally, focusing on the concept of relational wisdom. This includes online resources, coaching, and even mediation services to help organizations like pregnancy clinics navigate internal conflicts. Ken also touched upon the challenges and strategies for engaging with those who hold opposing views, particularly on sensitive issues like abortion, and the power of love and service in overcoming hostility.

Overall, the conversation was rich with wisdom on fostering peace and understanding, not just in the context of pro-life work but in all aspects of Christian life and ministry.

#ProLifeTeamPodcast #JacobBarr #KenSande #ConflictResolution #RelationalWisdom #Peacemaking #PregnancyClinics #EmotionalIntelligence #BiblicalGuidance #Matthew18 #ChristianService #EmpathyUnderstanding #OnlineTraining #MediationServices #AbortionDebate #LoveAndService #ChristianMinistry

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m Jacob Barr i’m here with Ken and we’re going to be talking about peacemaking from it within your clinic, within your relationships and family, and even all the way to the sidewalk of an abortion clinic. Ken, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a small group of executive directors of Prancy clinics?

Ken Sande :

Sure first of all, thanks for having me, Jacob. My name is Ken Sande. I’m the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and RW three sixty. My time at Peacemaker Ministries, about 30 years, was dedicated to helping Christians resolve conflict out of court and actually teaching peacemaking skills to keep people from even getting into a serious conflict. Now I’m leading a ministry called RW three sixty, and the primary focus of our training is we call relational wisdom, which is a biblical form of emotional intelligence. And our goal now is what can we do to help people stay upstream of conflict, actually avoid major conflicts, divorces, church splits, lawsuits, things like that. So we still teach peacemaking we still do conciliation, but our main goal is teaching relational skills.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, So what sort of advice do you find yourself giving people who work at a pregnancy clinic like what kind of advice do they often seek or need?

Ken Sande :

Well, to me, I I’ve been involved with crisis pregnancy Centers for many years, was on the Board of Directors 1 here in Billings, montana years ago and I’ve been working with many people working in centers since then. I guess the most foundational thing I would say is their work is all about relationship. And yes, there are technical issues they need to have they need to get their rent and their accounting and all their computers running properly there’s technical issues to be sure. And even the technical issue of having an ultrasound machine, there’s medical issues and you certainly want well trained medical personnel doing a lot of the tests and the advising. But when it really comes down to it, the work in a pregnancy center is really all about relationship, is building trust we call gaining passport what gives me the right to enter into someone else’s life, especially the most personal and life changing parts of their life. So how do we build trust how do we really enhance our capacity for empathy and compassion? Many of the people that come into a pregnancy center, like many other places in life where people coming for help, the presenting issue is not always the real issue. The presenting issue can be, you know, I’m I’ve missed a period, I think I might be pregnant. That’s a presenting issue but the deeper one is I don’t want to lose my boyfriend i don’t want to be ashamed of my church i don’t want my parents to, you know, disown me. And those are the deeper underlying issues it’s like an iceberg what you see of an iceberg above the water, it’s just a fraction of the total iceberg what’s below the water is much deeper. So I always talk to people about relational skills, empathy, peacemaking, emotional intelligence, reading body language, trying to put yourself in the other person’s position, those kinds of things. So it’s all about relationship. It’s all about even lawsuits, frankly, are usually all about relationship.

Jacob Barr :

Interesting. Are there any particular scenarios that sometimes have come up, you know frequently or you know come up occasionally that like when it comes to you know what might what, What’s an example of how a precinct clinic might need a peacemaker?

Ken Sande :

You know, it can happen on several dimensions, Jacob, just give you sort of a broad spectrum. Many pregnancy centers have a board of directors and they’ve got a board who are volunteer people typically, often a paid executive director and maybe one or two paid staff and then a lot of volunteers. That’s a lot of relational circles. Add to that some centers have got supporting churches with pastors who care about pro-life but they also want things done in a particular way and they want certain positions and certain counseling and everything else. So you’ve got a myriad of potential relational conflicts within the circles involved, around the precise center. We’re not even talking yet about the clients, about the young woman walking through the door. Just within the clinic itself, we’ve done quite a few mediations of tensions and conflicts between those various levels of authority and responsibility. So teaching the staff and the board and the supported church pastors, all those people, some basic relational skills, empathy, managing their emotions, how to do peacemaking on negotiation skills, forgiveness, all those things. The more you weave those skills into the all the people within the clinic, the more smoother the clinic will operate and just a simple analogy, relational wisdom and peacemaking is like the lubricating oil in a car engine. It’s not something you think about much of the time. But if it’s not there, you find out real quickly. If you’re if you lose all your lubricating oil in your car, that engine will seize up. If the people in your clinic don’t have good relational skills, peacemaking skills, it will eventually seize up. So that’s one sphere just within the clinic itself. Then you start looking at the people they’re serving so you’ve got a young woman coming in. There’s a man involved somewhere, maybe a husband, a boyfriend, maybe putting pressure on her to do something that violates her conscience. When I was at the Care Neck conference recently, I talked to somebody who said that some of the recent studies indicate that the abortion rate a young among young evangelical women may actually be higher than the population involved in large because of the potential shame you know, I’m a Christian the people in my church may reject me or judge me. So there might be some added inducement that is stronger than someone’s basic faith about the terrible act of taking a baby’s life. So you’ve got the young woman with all the things going on side of her. You’ve got a young man somewhere in the picture you often have parents, extended friends. There’s a whole sphere of circles. Just think of throwing a Pebble into a pond the ripples go out further and further and further. So how you engage them, how you develop passport, how you help her understand her real motives. And of course, the big part of counseling in those situations is to realize that what’s driving things mostly is emotion. It’s not logic it’s not reasoning we try to use, you know, logic and reasoning to justify and advance what we want to do emotionally but until people start realizing that most of what they’re doing is motivated by emotions, you’re going to continue to miss what’s really going on. It’s like a sailor out in a boat, and it keeps flopping all around he doesn’t realize he’s being pushed around by the wind if he thinks it’s just fish under the boat pushing it, he’s thinking anywhere he’s got to realize, no, there’s a strong wind it’s blowing me up on the rocks and I need to do something about it.

Jacob Barr :

So do you provide this peacemaking service remotely like is your group able to support Prancy clinics across the country, or what does that look like for someone actually getting help is it normally in person or is it sometimes provided remotely?

Ken Sande :

Yeah, we actually provide the training globally. We’ve got people in about 70 countries downloading our training and taking its online are all of our basic training is online. And you can also like some pregnancy centers might order a group study set, for example with all the videos on a DVD set or a flash drive. And then they just do maybe one hour training a week with their volunteers and staff so they can we want to make them as self-sufficient as they can be providing resources they can use that are very user friendly for them to use. But at the same time we do provide coaching via Zoom. So if a clinic director calls me up and says I’m locked in a major conflict with the chairman of our board, or there’s someone on our staff or volunteer that’s causing all sorts of grief, what do I do? I can assign a conflict coach or conciliator to meet with that person, hear the story and basically give them advice and here’s some things you can do to go back and try to resolve this thing yourself. And over the years, I’ve been doing this for about 40 years. You know, when people come to us and they think initially I need a mediator, our first approach is, well, help us to understand what’s going on and perhaps we can give you some advice that you can use to go back to the other person and just between the two of you might be able to resolve this and of course that’s consistent with Matthew 1815 if there’s an issue, Jesus knows that one-on-one is the better way to resolve it, if possible. So we’ll coach somebody on how to go to the other person and try to resolve that doesn’t work. We can actually do zoom mediations, have both parties get on to a zoom call and we can actually walk them through, you know, what are the issues what, you know, what’s your position what are some of the benefits of this can you see why that other person did this? That’s basically the same way we would do a live mediation. And then we actually have a network of conciliators all around the country. And so we very often can find somebody who’s within an hour’s drive of a clinic who they can actually retain a certified conciliator to come and sit down with their board, with their staff, with whoever might be involved. So we want to make it as cost effective and as accessible to the clinics as possible, but we can deliver as much help as they need.

Jacob Barr :

Can you expand on a reference in is it Matthew 1815 is that what you said?

Ken Sande :

Yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Can you expand on that story and how it, how it connects with, yeah, the peacemaking work?

Ken Sande :

Yeah, it’s Matthew 18. It’s often just referred to as Matthew 18 and it’s basically verses 15 through 20 although I like to start back at verse 12 and verse 12 starts off, it gives you the context if a if a if a man has 100 sheep and one of them wanders away, does he not leave the 99 to go and seek after the one that wandered away? And it sets the context the whole passage is about reconciliation, restoration, rebuilding, relationships so that’s the context in verse 15 Jesus says if your brother sins against you, go to him just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you’ve won your brother over so it’s the idea if you see someone doing something that is either hurting another person, hurting the offender himself, just creating some problems, the preferred thing is to go and sit down one-on-one so there’s not a lot of face saving issues there’s not, you know, constituency of trying to look good in front of my supporters, but just sit down and we do a lot of coaching on how to do that and one of the most important things is to realize you may be misreading the situation. So to always go tentatively you know, Jacob, I heard you say this the other day, I’m concerned it might mean this, but I’d really love to hear your side of it because there’s probably things going on I don’t understand and you may have a very reasonable explanation why something happened i go, oh, wow, I can see that now, how can I support you? So instead of coming to you and say, boy, I saw this the other day and how could you as a Christian do this and jump right to a conclusion, which sadly is something a lot of Christians seem to like doing, is jump jumping right To judge judgment. So that’s the first step is one-on-one and 80 % of whatever came to our ministry is resolved just by coaching individuals how to talk to each other. It’s amazing how frequently those resolutions take place if people have some good coaching. But Jesus knows that’s not always the case and so he goes on in the next verse if he will not listen to you, take one or two others along so that everything may be witnessed by confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. It’s the idea of bringing one or two other people to sit down with you both to listen to the facts, ask questions to clarify things and say OK, now Jacob, do I understand you to say this and could you tell Ken why this may have happened and basically they’re sort of more objective in the situation drawing out information possibly offering some advice. Would Jacob, would you consider doing this is this an option or what are a couple ways you think it could be resolved. And they’re basically they’re trying to facilitate a conversation that may have started off with just two rigid positions you know a board chair saying the executive director’s got to go she’s just not competent and the and the executive director I don’t want to lose my job like I am like you need to leave the board. And so here’s two locked in positions to begin with that could turn into just a power to struggle in a tug of war. A mediator. This one or two other people that comes and sits down could say now why do you think she’s not competent why do you think the board chairs not this What can be done here What where can we clear up misunderstandings how could you learn to work with each other. And of course that that’s throughout the Bible you look throughout the Bible there’s people in conflict and often someone else a wise person comes and meets with them and helps them to work out their differences and continue working together so that’s what we call mediation. But Jesus knows even that may not work at times so in verse 17 he says if he will not listen to them, the one or two witnesses tell it to the church. Now we’re talking about formal church discipline, bringing in the ecclesiastical authority of the church. So this might be, you know, taking it out of the crisis pregnancy center, just a business context where someone’s involved in some, you know, arguably dishonest business practices, making commitments, not keeping his word, possibly defrauding people. Church leaders should be concerned about that here’s someone who’s a member of First Church, and yet he’s getting a reputation and community of being a crook. And to sit down and really challenge him on that i’ve been involved in those cases where somebody really was being dishonest was dishonouring God, diminishing the witness to the church and community and thank God the leaders got involved in some cases, God used him to bring that person to repentance, making restitution to the people he’s wrong and in other cases they harden their heart and that goes on to the next verse 20. If you will not listen to them, treat him as you would have a Pagan or tax collector, And that’s formal church discipline and excommunication, which doesn’t happen often these days most churches are afraid to go that far, and if you do the other steps well, you rarely get to that point. But it’s still a potential thing where somebody is removed from church fellowship, but it’s basically a procedural passage you want to keep things as small as possible, as long as possible. So starting one-on-one then maybe one or two other people, and then you slowly build it up from there. So that would be, for example, a conflict between, as I said, an executive director, board chair that can’t work it out. Maybe there’s someone else on the board or a pastor in the community they both respect and they just say, hey, can we sit down we’d love to have your advice on this. Or they call us and we provide a professionally trained person to help them.

Jacob Barr :

Is it sometimes hard to find someone who is respected by the other party as well, or like trying to find that common trusted person?

Ken Sande :

It can be and this is one of the reasons, Jacob, why we recommend the people make a commitment to a conciliation process before a conflict comes up. Because if two people get a conflict, let’s say you and I had a conflict and I came to say, hey, Jacob, I heard about this group called Peacemaker, I’ll go to them. Your first instinct is going to be, Oh yeah, right you want to bring them in so they must be on your side so I don’t want it. And so if you wait till there’s a conflict for one party to suggest that it’ll be suspect. But if when you’re first, for example, if every crisis pregnancy center today, you know, went to our website, looked at the information on combining conciliation clauses, they could say, hey, we’re going to add this to our bylaws. And we’re going to just say that if there’s a conflict that we can’t resolve internally, rather than, you know, take extreme measures to go to court, we will contact RW three sixty and ask them to provide a conciliator to work with us. So it’s agreed on when everybody’s getting along and so it’s just, it’s there. And you know, just give me an example i was talking to a Christian architect and he told me that he for years and years he had averaged the filing of at least one significant lawsuit a year because of his work as an architect, some dissatisfied customer and some of them actually occasionally went to trial, but at least there was a filing, negotiation, legal fees, etcetera. He said ever since he put a conciliation clause in all of his contracts he said, I haven’t had a lawsuit filed since then because simply remembering that we committed if there’s a conflict, we’re going to resolve it Biblically gets me and the and the church to say, oh, hold it now, we’re mad at each other but we agreed not to go to court. Let’s sit down and talk this through and he said normally what he does, he calls up the church and said let’s the pastor says let’s go and have lunch, let’s talk this through and resolves it. Now that’s bad news for attorneys because they’re not getting big, you know, attorneys fees for those cases. But the architect was real happy just having the clause in that reminded him we’re going to resolve this in a in a conciliatory way.

Jacob Barr :

So how might a pranky clinic. I’m imagining like when a when a board member signs on for a two year term or the length of the term that’s probably a really good piece to have as part of that onboarding of a new staff member or board member or volunteer perhaps even or any position that might. Yeah, merit a peacemaker clause that we’re going to. Yeah, peacefully decide now that we’re all you know, there is no problem, that when our problem does arise, it will, yeah, go about this in a healthy biblical way.

Ken Sande :

Right yeah, they could and there’s a lot of ways to do that you can put a legally binding contract or clause into your con, your bylaws, for example, and that’s legally binding if someone tries to sue it. But even short of a legally binding thing, you could just put in a statement of commitment of intent i mean, every board should have some guidelines you better have some bylaws and things like that. And you could just Simply put something in there saying if we have a conflict, we’ll resolve it according to the Peacemakers pledge, which is found in Ken Sandy’s book The Peacemaker and there’s an appendix it’s just a very simple pledge that has four basic commitments. We call them the four GS when we resolve a conflict. Goal number one is to be to glorify God. Goal number two is to get the log out of our own eye, take responsibility for our contribution. Goal number three is to gently restore if I’m going to confront somebody, I’m going to do it gently with an idea of redemption and restoration. And goal number four is going to be reconciled, calling the four GS. And a lot of churches use that as a pledge in their membership classes they people pledge to follow those. I mean, those four GS are right out of the Bible they’re basic peacemaking concepts. So you could put it in your organizational bylaws you could put it into your employee or your volunteer manual for the center itself. You could provide, you know, for what, 1314 dollars, you provide everybody in the clinic with a copy of my book, The Peacemaker and just say this is these are principles we’re going to follow if we’re in conflict and we want to just give this to you as a, you know, recognition of your volunteering. That’s a big that’s a very worthwhile investment, you know, for 1415 dollars and encouraging people to go through it. Pardon me, that’s my guard dog problem. I hope you can edit that out. I just got a library.

Jacob Barr :

Like getting a delivery. My dogs always do that when someone walks up to the door.

Ken Sande :

That’s he heard something there’s something up there waiting for him, obviously, and my wife is not here to calm him down, so sorry about that. But anyway, you know, the other thing to do is just come to our website we’ve got a lot of training options there at all sorts of levels. And I’ll tell you what the highest level, what I would strongly recommend I did this at the Care Net conference is to actually form what we call a peace sewer team within the pregnancy center. And what a peace sewer team is it’s modeled after Exodus 18, where when Moses led the nation of Israel out of Egypt, he was trying to resolve all the conflicts for the whole nation all by himself and he was burning himself out so his father-in-law said, no, you need to delegate you need to have some other people helping you out. And so they found otherwise and respected people to take on a lot of that responsibility. So same thing in a clinic and the team what we recommend we’ve developed materials where you could train one or two people to be what we call relational wisdom instructors. And they’re responsible for just teaching new people coming in refreshments, you know, refreshing people’s memory of these things because we do tend to forget things over time. So the instructors just keep training. The coaches are there just to talk to individuals if someone’s got a conflict and they need some advice on how to handle it, they come to one of the RW coaches and then the conciliators that’s the highest level of training. Our people are actually trained as mediators and they can actually sit down with two parties, identify issues, walk them through a conversation process to find agreement. And our goal we’re training setting up these teams in churches, para church ministries, Christian owned businesses. It’s to use an analogist like in Montana, we have a lot of rural communities that don’t have enough of a tax base to have full time fire, you know, fire departments. So what do they get volunteers who get trained on how to put out fires and they carry a pager around and if a fire starts, they run down to the Firehouse, open the door, hop in the truck, go out and put out the fire but they’re not full time, they’re out ranching and farming most of the time. So the same thing in a clinic, you can get volunteers who are trained in these skills, who are available when the fires of conflict come out. And one of the benefits is a lot of people do go after the training or people say I can use this in the other part of my life i’m a manager down at the local business and these are things I’m dealing with all the time so this training is it’s a win, win for me.

Jacob Barr :

That’s awesome. Yeah, it makes sense that these principles would apply in all relationships, not just the ones within the clinic.

Ken Sande :

Not only that, i would just say the place where I’ve applied these principles the most is my family i mean, just, oh, OK, get a couple of teenagers and you’ll have to learn about negotiation and peacemaking and arbitration. My wife always called herself a domestic arbitrator, so that’s where my all my best stories come from is my own family.

Jacob Barr :

So when it comes to negotiating, yeah, what’s? I guess the alternative to negotiating would be like all or nothing like someone that’s not willing to you know, land somewhere in the middle between two people’s wants. What is the Bible like how does the Bible speak to negotiating versus all or nothing and like what would be like the right example to negotiate and then the right example maybe to hold an all or nothing position if there is one?

Ken Sande :

You know, we would certainly need to hold an all or nothing position on things that the Bible teaches or all or nothing. Murder is wrong. I’m not going to compromise my position of being pro-life that unborn child is a human being made in the image of God i’m not going to compromise that. I know that at a legislative level probably there will have to be compromises at, you know, what time and everything else so that there will be necessity there but in terms of things we do day-to-day if the Bible is clear and explicit on something, we can’t compromise. But the vast majority of conflicts in life are not black and white issues. It might be Do we hire a new assistant director for the clinic? Ok, the Bible doesn’t speak to that. Do we expand the board do we do this training for people do we take this position in our counseling and what we want to do? There’s several really good examples of negotiation narratives in the Bible first Daniel one where Daniel basically has to negotiate with his captors about the dietary, the diet they’re imposing on the Jewish people they brought into Babylon. And he negotiates very effectively to so he doesn’t have to violate his religious beliefs, dietary beliefs, but he’s able to still accomplish what the king really wants is to have healthy servants. Another, probably the preeminent negotiation example in the Bible would be First Samuel 25 And this is where Abigail basically is facing David and 400 men who are about to slaughter everybody on the farm. And this one woman stands up to David and negotiates a settlement that saves his reputation and the lives of dozens of people it’s she’s like the preeminent negotiation and negotiation of Scripture. But the principle in all of those cases, both the ones I just gave you and in real life, is laid out pretty well just in first in Philippians two three and four where Paul says each of you should look, he says do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves be willing to listen to the other person and recognize he may have a better idea than I do if I just listen, he might actually give me some better insights. But that goes on it says each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Now it doesn’t say forget your interests, just give up everything it says you can look out for your interests, but at the same time find a way to look out for the interests of the other person as well and that’s the most effective negotiation, not only in a clinic. This goes on with international diplomacy today. The most effective diplomats are the ones that understand, OK, what is the interest of this country? What is the interest of the country I’m serving and how do we find an agreement where both sides can actually say that’s something I can support. And so I study negotiation all the time it’s fascinating, the people that are really good at it. So the best negotiators, the one that can understand the other person’s interest, sometimes even better than the other person, understands his own interests and that’s what Abigail does. She understands David’s interests even better than he does because he’s being what’s called amygdala hijacked. His emotions are just driving him and he’s not thinking rationally at all and Abigail discerns what’s going on, reminds him of what his real interests are, settles the whole thing. So it’s one of my favorite topics to teach on and we use an acrostic called the Pause Principle. Prepare, affirm relationships, understand interests, search for creative solutions, and evaluate options objectively and creatively. And we teach that to thousands and thousands of people every year.

Jacob Barr :

So out of all the people that come, you know, that are that are seeking out a peacemaker, You know how what you know how do you rank a given scenario or problem is it based off of you know like a scale of one to 10 or you know are there some that you would say you don’t need a peacemaker this isn’t, you know, this isn’t at that level or what would be like, you know that you know the smallest problem that would deserve a peacemaker like how would you sort of define, you know, whether a peacemaker is needed or not when it’s on sort of on the smaller numbers on that scale?

Ken Sande :

You know, it’s not so much the size of the dispute, so to speak it’s about how teachable the parties are. And, you know, I’ve talked to people that had, you know, a five million dollar contract dispute. And yet as I talked to one of them and helped him to realize, yeah, I was sort of vague on this and I did promise this, I can see why the other guy is unhappy and say, well, why don’t you go back to him and just, you know, approach him on that thing. So the monetary size, you can have a 10$ dispute where people are locked in and rigid and they won’t budget. It may not be worth bringing a mediator for 10$ but it’s really not so much the size of the dispute as it is about how teachable the parties are. And what I look for is their humility where people are willing to say, you know, i might not be reading this entirely accurately. So humility and then flexibility is am I open to changing some of my ways and teachability. And so if you got humility, teachability and flexibility, it’s those situations are usually very easy to help people work through, but those are those are character quality and that’s why we back up our mediation a lot with prayer, because when I come into a dispute, people are usually pretty rigid and pretty self-righteous and we need the Holy Spirit to soften some hearts.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, I can see that. Going back to the abortion topic, and you know how it’s, you know how we have to, well, we live in a country with, I don’t know, some % of people that don’t believe in God and Jesus, and we’re trying to live civilly amongst them along with fellow believers. So there’s some groups that will, they’re like abolitionists where they sort of want all or nothing. That’s and I can see, you know, I can see the desire to do really good and not try and compromise. But then I can also see it seems like the mainstream or the, you know, a large number of pro-life groups are trying to save as many lives as possible. And in the midst of living in a civil country that’s full of a large number of people who don’t agree, you know, and we’re trying to save as many lives as possible so how do you navigate those waters between, you know, the abolitionist groups who are all or nothing, and the people who want to compromise to save as many lives as possible? And really, in the end, I think the group that wants to compromise would love to see abortion, you know, made unthinkable or unavailable. But we’re also trying, yeah, at the same time trying to navigate the fact that we live in a country that’s full of people who have different positions.

Ken Sande :

Right. Well, i certainly wouldn’t pretend to have all the answers there, Jacob. A couple of broad principles. First thing, I would encourage both of those sides because you’re running the same thing on, you know, sex education schools i mean, there’s any number of moral issues where there’s people that want it’s all or nothing, they want zero of this bad thing happening and other people say we’re going to have to compromise. So any number of moral issues you can have that dichotomy. First thing I would say is try to avoid the temptation to judge other people who are on your side of the line, but maybe not as far or further than you are. So you know, you may be an abolition abolitionist i’m more of a let’s find a compromise. But for me to respect and say, listen, I understand why you, why you have that position and I respect and frankly, I wish your position would prevail. But practically speaking, I think this is the better thing but for us not to judge each other and then start shooting arrows at each other. And that’s one of the ways the enemy really weakens the church he gets believers to be shooting more at each other than we do at the true enemy, you know, Satan himself and all the lies he dispenses so that’s number one. Avoid the temptation to judge. One of the things we teach is the concept of charitable judgments it’s a it’s an old concept you don’t hear a lot about, but it basically is when you have a set of facts that indicate someone else may have done something wrong, but it’s not conclusive. Believe the best about people until you have facts to prove otherwise. So instead of jumping to the worst possible conclusion, give them, give them some charity and say listen, i can see why you do that it’s not the position I would take i think this where we need to be and I know there’s even some strategic things that come up in negotiating these things and that is if we if we reach a compromise of the other side, you know at the 80 % level, then we’ll lose all the momentum to go to 100 %. And so there there’s even legislative strategies that people can reasonably disagree on and not necessarily right or wrong you just have to decide which one will I follow. Secondly, in dealing with people on the other side, I found whether you’re dealing with gender issues, sexuality issues, any number of moral issues, I’ve found that there are some people who are extreme on the other side. The no level of conversation and negotiation is going to budget them they they’ve got an agenda, they’re going to push it and every inch I give is just an inch they’ll take and give nothing in return. So you have to realize, is this person that I’m dealing with resolute and unwilling to budget on anything and i would, with that kind of person, I would have to be equally resolute on my position. But there’s a much larger group I found in these categories who sincerely believe in their position, but they’re not militant about it. They’re not going to just try to force this and cram it down i mean, you’d look at the gay, lesbian issue, you know, I just, I believe it’s, you know, if people have that inclination, that’s not my belief but they would say, you know, I think it’s just inclination and we just want to live in peace we don’t want to be discriminated against. So there’s a lot of people that may be gay that aren’t militant they don’t want to force through legislation they don’t want to shut down a wedding cake, you know, business. And those are people you can actually talk to and dialogue and they might say, you know, I never thought of it that way i can see this. And so you have to discern, am I dealing with somebody who is teachable, humble, flexible or somebody who is resolute and militant? So trying to identify those two things. And I run into that when I travel in an airplane if I’m talking to somebody about any of these issues, I try very quickly to figure out, am I dealing with somebody who is just militant on this issue, in which case there’s not much point in going further? Or is this a person that if I ask some questions, they might get off this plane to be thinking about and say, oh, i’m thought of it that way before. And that’s one of the most powerful ways to engage the teachable people is not with a lecture, it’s with a question, and with a question that will haunt them days after they’ve had their conversation with you.

Jacob Barr :

When it comes to the group who is, let’s say, hard and fast and militant, or they’re not looking, they’re not soft or, you know, teachable, what’s the best approach for someone in that category would it be prayer or would it be something else as well?

Ken Sande :

I would certainly pray because God, I mean God seems to delight and say OK, He looks around and say OK, who would everyone else say is impossible to change oh, there he is, this guy named Saul from Tarsus, and I’m going to change him into my apostle to the Gentiles i mean, it’s like the most extreme whiplash in the history of mankind. And so by all means, pray. And the last chapter of my book, The Peacemaker, is overcoming evil with good what do you do with people who will not negotiate, who will not repent, who will not forgive everything else? You don’t close the Bible say I tried it close the Bible do it my way no, you dig deeper into the Bible because the Bible is filled with examples of dealing with resolute, militant people. And one of the principles there is the last part of Romans 12 says do not be overcome by evil no says if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat. If he’s thirsty, give him something to drink. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. And so the idea i’ve had situations where the final weapon we have. Sorry about the watchdog that’s.

Jacob Barr :

Ok.

Ken Sande :

Ok, where the final weapon is, how can I bless and serve the other person? And do you have time for about a three minute example of that?

Jacob Barr :

Sure, sure.

Ken Sande :

A friend of mine lived in a in a house there was a gully behind the house with a stream in it, and then a house on the other side 2 rows of houses separated by this little gully and a stream. He got into a conflict with the homeowner across the stream about the boundary line where it was and used to run with the stream but it changed course and she was chopping down trees that he thought were his. They couldn’t work it out they got into a lawsuit about it and he felt bad because he’s a certified peacemaker he calls like Ken i’m ashamed i can’t resolve this thing. I’m involved in a lawsuit that’s the last thing I want to do. And he was standing in his back patio one night, looking across the gully at the house over there, and he said, Lord, I feel like such a failure. Show me what I can do how can I somehow find a way of agreement and peace with my neighbor? He said literally at that moment, all the lights on the other side of the gully went out. There was a power outage, and the first thing that came to his mind was he’d been in her house one time when they were first trying to talk. She had this huge giant aquarium with all sorts of exotic fish in it, and it’s just like he suddenly had a picture of that in his mind And he thought, wow, if she’s without power and there’s no aerator going, maybe it’s going to harm her fish. Maybe she needs electricity. And he just wrestled for just a moment, but he just felt God telling him take her electricity. And he ran out of his garage, got his extension cords, plugged him into the patio outlet in the back of his house, down the gully across up to her patio. Had just enough to reach her patio. Knocked on the door, She came out to the door holding, you know, a candle or something and she said, what do you want? He said, well, I saw your powers out i was concerned for your fish. So I brought you some electricity. And she just, she just looked at this extension cord and she didn’t know what to do i mean, it’s just if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat if he’s thirsty. And about 3 seconds later, Jacob, the electricity came on and my friend said, Ken, if I had hesitated 3 seconds longer and obeying God, it would have been too late. And so she looked at the extension cord she said, well the power’s back on, I don’t need it he said he still held it out to her, said well it may go out again, You don’t know, so why don’t you just hold this on for the night? And she took that cord, and Rich said at that moment, he was overwhelmed with a sense of love for her. And the whole thing about blessing your enemy isn’t so much to make them love us. It’s to help us love them. And so he went back, slept like a baby. Next morning, he got up all the extension cords were wrapped up on his patio. He’s standing out in the front sidewalk the next morning, she drives by, stops, thanks him for the electricity. And Rich just senses there’s a, you know, a softening of attitude, he said listen, I feel bad about the lawsuit. Could we could we try to sit down this evening and still work this out she said yeah, I’d like to do that. They settle it. So just pray for son lord, can I pray for the i had one legal secretary just started making fresh bread for her boss, who was a really unkind, harsh boss and every morning he came in, there’s a fresh loaf of warm bread on his desk. It just softened him. So God’s got so many wisdom principles, Jacob so many powerful principles and Christians just don’t tap into this arsenal of wisdom and grace in the Bible.

Jacob Barr :

Well, that’s a beautiful story i was just going to ask you to share a story that shows God’s fingerprints and I think you just did. I think that was that’s, yeah, it’s such a touching story and if you would have waited his opportunity to extend, you know that peace offering would have expired.

Ken Sande :

You know, it comes to my mind as we’re talking and i don’t know if it’s God or just me, but this idea of he’s hungry, thirsty i I’m just wondering, and maybe some clinics already do this, but if a boyfriend dropped his girlfriend off and he’s trying to force her to you know, get an abortion, he’s sitting in the parking lot. What about having just a standard practice that anytime someone’s parked out there, someone from the clinic walks out with a cup of coffee and a doughnut and says, hey, we know you’re waiting out here just thought you might appreciate this. I mean, just something that’s simple. That’s simple. Who knows? Because, see, here’s the key let me just say, here’s the key. It’s not so much the power of what we do. It’s the little teeny things we do that God, through His Holy Spirit, can magnify the impact. It’s the Holy Spirit, ultimately. So it’s not even how brilliant my words are in debating. It’s if I am speaking out of love for Christ, doing the best that I can, Pray, Lord, my words are feeble i don’t know how to do it, but I know you’re powerful. He can take the simplest little thing that I say or do, and he can supercharge it. Supercharge it.

Jacob Barr :

So one final question that I can think of so when someone’s on the sidewalk of a Planned Parenthood or an abortion clinic and let’s say that you know they’re praying there on the sidewalk and then the Planned Parenthood escorts are possibly instructed to not dialogue.

Ken Sande :

What?

Jacob Barr :

Might be something good to say out loud, even though they may not respond because they may have been instructed to not respond but what would be something good or what would be like a healthy conversation to have like would it be good to pray for them in a way that they can hear or does that almost come off as like belittling and maybe not full of humility i’m not sure.

Ken Sande :

You know, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out there myself i’ve got a lot of friends of my church out there they ‘d probably have a better answer for that. But here’s a couple things come to mind. Number one, never underestimate the power of a smile. One of the things that we teach in our course is just the whole idea of just smiling. There’s God has wired us, we’re smiles are significant. To just smile at somebody. And the main thing I’d be praying about is say, Lord, help me to love this person. Help me to love this person with the love of Christ. And if you’re filled with the love of Christ where that escort person somehow then you’re a more open channel for the love of Christ. So I would say first of all Lord, I need, I need help in my heart I I’m judging this person I’m bitter toward this person I want to condemn and Lord, I confess that is sin and I ask you to forgive me. So please fill me to full with the love of Christ, that it’s overflowing so much it’s splashes on that person. And one way is through my countenance, just the look on my face. And of course there’s stories of martyred Christians throughout history that the love of Christ shall, I mean, think of Stephen as they were stoning him. His face was glowing. Ok, it says, it talks about his face it’s like Moses, so that our face, our smile, our countenance would be filled with love and compassion. There may And then they say, Lord, if there’s something I can say right now, give me the words and the Bible talks about that don’t worry about it you know God will give you the words so be praying give me the words, whether to be silent and just smile, whether to say something kind. I’d be hesitant to get really spiritual i’m praying for you because that’s going to sound like a judgment it’s going to sound superior. It might. Here again, if your enemy is hungry, you could have a cooler or something there with some coffee or some doughnuts or something and just say, you know, I see you’ve been working really hard it’s cold out today can i offer you a cup of coffee? They’ll probably say no, but the Holy Spirit can take that and just make them feel very convict gosh, these people are so nice. And I don’t know if you heard the recent report. There was a teenager that went to one of the Trump rallies expecting to be, and he’s going to talk about his liberal politics he’s expecting to be attacked. He said everybody was so nice to me one of the ladies invited me to her Bible study, and I think we should surprise people with our graciousness. And so you might say something nice. I would even go so far as this. I say, Lord, if you know it would be helpful, please create an opportunity for me to serve this person, to serve this. Now maybe that means the person slips on the ice and goes down and I’m the one that walks up and offers a hand to pick him up you know, God can. He can do anything. And so i would just say, Lord, whatever I can do, if just to pray, just to smile, just to be here, offer it, don’t it often offer this. There’s a marvelous movie I saw recently is one of the ones on racial reconciliation and it’s a true story. A woman who was a very active moving for racial change and racial justice, and then a guy who’s ahead of the KKK in their community were forced to work on a committee trying to find some ways to subdue some of the violence and all this hostility between the two people until the woman found out that this man had a son with a mental disorder he was institutionalized and he couldn’t get he was being moved out of a fairly decent place into a much worse place the man was so concerned. She’s the one that went down to the clinic and persuaded them to give this man’s son a better room and a better rate than every house when he found out about it. I mean, this was unexpected love from an enemy, that’s what makes us so powerful we know we don’t deserve it. He resigned. He was a leader of the local KKK. He resigned after that he was so convicted by the love of someone he thought was his enemy. And so just never underestimate the power of love. And it doesn’t work instantly, but over time. And that’s the message of the gospel. You know, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and that’s the message of the gospel.

Jacob Barr :

That might be a good stop, a good stopping point i think that’s sort of I’ll start the music right there.

Ken Sande :

The only thing I would ask you to add to it, if you do as a follow up or something is just point them to our Academy RW dash. It’s just RW Dash academy.org because we’ve got all three of the talks I gave at the care net are on there for free. Ok.

Jacob Barr :

That sounds good yeah i can add that to the description. And yeah, well, this was really good i really love the fact that you’re just helping people fight less and build relationships and. Yeah and be able to avoid fights like that’s yeah that’s a that’s a beautiful what a blessing to just simply have less conflict and less anxiety and worry over yeah disagreement that’s yeah what a what a great.

Ken Sande :

Way to learn. Peace is God’s universal blessing i mean that you see in the old towns that peace be with you, peace be i mean, this isn’t something God wants to give to us. In our sin we keep mucking it up, but he still wants to give us this gift of peace.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s so good. Well, thank you again for being on here really enjoyed hearing your stories and your wisdom and yeah, I’m excited to share this because this is like, yeah, this is really healthy, supportive, biblical messaging.

Ken Sande :

Good well, thank you for giving me the opportunity, Jacob.