In his wonderful memoir Open Secrets, Richard Lischer describes a personal conflict that developed between Lischer and Leonard, a lay leader in the congregation. Their conflict had the potential to erupt into a major split in the congregation. But each man remained committed to the ministry of the church. When a woman who lived near Leonard overdosed on pills, Lischer forgot that he wasn’t on speaking terms with his parishioner, and called to ask Leonard to accompany him to the woman’s house.
Their shared ministry in this setting provided an opportunity for renewing their relationship. As Lischer writes: