Manage episode 273928138 series 1669508
|Are you weary of conflict? Disagreements in the public square? Disharmony in meetings? Lean in to listen, learn and love …|
Join Rev. Michael Gulker, of The Colossian Forum, for his presentation, “Leaves of the Tree of Life: Remembering Our End During the Very Messy Middle.” Reading Revelation 22 (especially, vv1-5) could be helpful preparation.
We are weary of conflict. Disagreements in the public square. Disharmony in our church council meetings. Disdain in the pews for one’s brother or sister. What if our collective exhaustion as leaders is because we’re leaning the wrong way into conflicts? Are we leaning back, resting on old ways of thinking about and engaging conflicts—seeing them as crises to be managed, rough roads to be gotten over into the greener pastures of ministry? Might we find, instead, that leaning forward into conflicts is the posture of God—the One who came into the midst of our messiness? What if conflict is the opportunity we need to lean into one another’s lives—to listen, to learn, and to love like Jesus did? Could our Christian formation depend on it? Would the world be drawn to a people thus formed, who are “held together” (Col. 1:17) in an inexplicable way, even when conflicts persist? The Colossian Forum has found this to be the case, and with it a renewed sense of energy for the conflicts of our age.
Rev. Michael Gulker is President of The Colossian Forum. He has a long-standing interest in
the oft-times contentious intersection of faith and culture and how both thrive best when rooted in worship. Michael has, during his ten years leading The Colossian Forum, become a leader turning conflict into opportunity for both deeper discipleship and more beautiful witness. The Colossian Forum has equipped hundreds of church leaders and thousands of laypeople in transformative Christian practices that harness the energy of everyday conflicts for positive spiritual formation. A native of West Michigan, he studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, has a divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Before coming to The Colossian Forum, Michael served as pastor of Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He and his wife Jodie have two children.