To reconcile: to settle disagreements, to make peace, to restore relationship, to find common ground, to build bridges not walls.

This isn’t reconciliation – two men are talking about the challenge of relationships. The first guy asks, “How do you deal with conflict?” The other guy responds, “We argue until we finally agree that I was wrong.”

Rick Warren wrote this: “Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. It is unrealistic to expect everyone will agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant.”

Does reconciled relationship trump problems? It certainly provides the motivation and determination to deal with problems, not avoid or ignore them.

Todd Engstrom said, “Mission is about people, not projects.” So, what is our mission? The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:18,19).

The problems festering and erupting in our society divide us further. The solutions are not easy to determine or implement. We live in a world that is less kind and less safe. We are feeding the beasts of hatred and violence.

If God has entrusted to believers the mission and ministry of reconciliation, then we have to act. Where do we start? Perhaps it begins with an examination of our own consciences, admitting our own prejudices, and accepting our own weaknesses. But it doesn’t stop there. If God is our Father, we are brothers and sisters. We need this family to heal.

You are invited to a time of conversation and prayer this Sunday evening at 6:00 in the Peachtree Room. The three congregations who meet on our campus and their pastors encourage you to attend. Pastor Donald Lee Sawyer, Pastor Roy Brown, and I will host this gathering of believers to talk to, listen to, and pray with each other. I hope you can come.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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