Transforming God's people from passive partakers to empowered contributors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

     Being a part of what God is doing makes life exciting. As ambassadors of reconciliation, we are able to represent and fulfill God's purpose for our lives. When does an opportunity for reconciliation occur?Whenever there is conversation. Whenever we speak, we are helping people to understand God better. We are either participating with God in restoring a broken relationship, or equipping people to participate with God in restoring a broken relationship.

     How is Miracle Grow like other reconciliation methods?
Miracle Grow helps restore relationships between two individuals.
Miracle Grow helps restore communication between two individuals.

     How is Miracle Grow different from other reconciliation methods?
Miracle Grow can be done by anyone.
Miracle Grow is simple to use.
Miracle Grow can be learned in a couple of minutes. Correct implementation may take a little longer.
You don’t need any materials.
You don’t need to pay any money.
You don’t need to talk to both parties.
You don’t need a specialized vocabulary.
You don’t need to know the specific problem.
You don’t need any knowledge of the history of the problem.
You don’t need to offer any solutions.
You don’t need a relationship other than conversing with the person.
You don’t need to be the one involved in the reconciliation.

     Common Denominator
“There is at least one common denominator to all these approaches to reconciliation. They all are designed to lead individual men and women to change the way they think about their historical adversaries. As a result, reconciliation occurs one person at a time and is normally a long and laborious process.
At the most basic level, reconciliation is all about individuals. It cannot be forced on people. They have to decide on their own whether to forgive and reconcile with their one-time adversaries. By its very nature, reconciliation is a "bottom up" process and thus cannot be imposed by the state or any other institution.”
by Charles (Chip) Hauss

     A Broken Relationship
“In common everyday settings we experience social conflict as a time when a disruption occurs in the "natural" discourse of our relationships. As conflict emerges, we stop and take notice that something is not right. The relationship in which the difficulty is arising becomes complicated, not easy and fluid as it once was. We no longer take things at face value, but rather spend greater time and energy to interpret what things mean. As our communication becomes more difficult, we find it harder and harder to express our perceptions and feelings. We also find it more difficult to understand what others are doing and saying, and may develop feelings of uneasiness and anxiety. This is often accompanied by a growing sense of urgency and frustration as the conflict progresses, especially if no end is in sight.”
by John Paul Lederach and Michelle Maiese

     Introduction: Miracle Grow Step 1 of 7
The concept of Miracle Grow grew out of discussions about how to bloom where we are planted; how to share God's love in a most natural and important way; and how we can help those around us restore their broken relationships. Few things are more important to us than our relationships in our families, workplaces, church or neighborhoods. The same thing is true for everyone you come in contact with daily.
Where are you planted? Where do you live, work, or spend time? God has planted you there because that is where he wants to use you! That is where you use your gifts.
When you use Miracle Grow, you will see miracles—you will see a miracle grow! Miracle Grow is nothing but fertilizer; when you apply it, a miracle will grow!
Miracle Grow can be done anytime, any place, and by anyone.
Miracle Grow is simple and comfortable to use.
Miracle Grow lets you participate with God in His primary purpose of reconciliation. That was the whole reason he sent Jesus, so He must have thought it was very important.
Miracle Grow is ministry to others.
God gave us the tools and ability to use Miracle Grow.
There are multiple opportunities to use Miracle Grow.
Just as we have been reconciled to God, he wants us to be reconciled to one another. Miracle Grow is a simple way to help people do just that; be reconciled to God and be reconciled to one another.
Thank You, Father, that You reconciled us to Yourself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18

     Awareness: Miracle Grow Step 2 of 7
Become aware of words that are used by others that may be indicators of a broken relationship or a break in communication. Some of these may be anger, complaining, gossip, unforgiveness, body language, disfunction, blaming.
Thank You, Father, that the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10: 4

Listening: Miracle Grow Step 3 of 7
When you are conversing with someone and they give some indication of a possible broken relationship, encourage them to talk about it. You do this by listening: Face the other person, have an open body stance, make eye contact, nod your head, smile, raise your eyebrows.
Say "uh huh," "right," "I see," "yeah," "Tell me more."
Keep them talking as much as possible without saying, "Keep talking"
1. Don't agree with them about their comments or feelings.
2. Don't disagree with them about their comments or feelings. Don't cut them off by saying that they shouldn't feel that way or by disagreeing with them.
3. Don't offer any solutions. This is our natural tendency; resist it!
Eventually, you want to ask them a question.
Thank You, Father, that we minister with the strength You provide, so that in all things You may be praised through Jesus Christ. To You be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

     Question 1: Miracle Grow Step 4 of 7
After listening to the person give an account of the broken relationship, you ask the following question. “What could __________ do to make it better?”
A NAME MUST BE IN THE BLANK! Use the person's name that you are talking about.
IMPORTANT: Do not use the word "you" in the question. The focus should be on the person talked about, not the person you are talking to.
Patience is necessary. There is no need to rush.
When we ask the first question, we listen to the answer. Basically, we are not responding to what they say, because our purpose is to help them move toward restoring a broken relationship.
So we are in listening mode:
Don't agree with them about their comments or feelings.
Don't disagree with them about their comments or feelings
Don't offer any solutions
Thank You, Father, that we are quick to listen. James 1:19

     Question 2: Miracle Grow Step 5 of 7
This question is not usually asked during the first conversation.
The person has answered the first question, and you have listened some more. When the timing is right, ask the following question: “What could you do to make it easier for _____ to do that?”
Then back to listening.
Don't agree with them.
Don't disagree with them.
Don't offer any solutions.
Thank You, Father, that we are fully persuaded that You have power to do what You have promised. Romans 4:21

     Question 3: Miracle Grow Step 6 of 7
After the two questions, you must wait until the person indicates that they want to reconcile with the other person. This may be hours, days, weeks, or months later.
You do not initiate. This requires patience, because we want to speed things up. However, it is God who prepares the heart and mind to accomplish His purpose.
When appropriate, you ask the following question: “Is there anything I can do to help?”
You also offer to help prepare the person for the meeting.
Thank you, Father, that You made Your light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of You in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

     The Meeting: Miracle Grow Step 7 of 7
There is much that goes into preparing for the meeting of two people. You are usually only working with one of the people, and you want them to have an appropriate attitude when the meeting takes place.
He must be willing to take responsibility for the problem, even if he isn't responsible.
He can’t be defensive.
He must be prepared to be attacked and how to respond to the attack.

     Our model is Philppians 2:5-8
Thank You, Father, that our attitude is the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with You something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

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