Thursday, April 5, 2007

How JAGs and Pastors Deal with Conflict on the Battlefield

I was listening to NPR this morning to a story about the JAGs (Judge Advocate Generals) and how they are being trained at the Judge Advocate General school at Charlottesville, Virginia.

They used a series of battlefield simulations to try to translate their book knowledge to the chaos they may find on the battlefield in Iraq. I thought about how what they are learning would be helpful for pastors who are thrust into church conflict battlefield.

One of the main lessons they learn is that on the battlefield, it's not always about what is legal (someone levels their weapon and you eliminate the threat), but what is culturally appropriate, what is strategically effective, and what makes sense in a counter insurgency. The trainer said that there are times that if you just eliminate the threat, it may escalate the problem.

I think that as pastors and church leaders, there are times on the church conflict battlefield that we think that it's the right thing to do and that we have the right to eliminate the threat (ask a member to leave, give someone a piece of our mind, etc.). But in many cases, it escalates the problem.

I think it would be great to have church conflict battlefield simulations for pastors to help us translate the great knowledge we get in seminary to the real world.

You can listen to the audio from that program here: NPR : JAGs Take a More Central Battlefield Role

1 comment:

Mike Stover said...

I think your idea about some battlefield-related training would be a great addition to seminary training for young and prospective pastors. So many times a pastor is thrust into a situation and has no resources or training to deal with it, making matters worse. Good article. Thanks!