Friday, June 22, 2018

4 Lessons I've Learn About Church Unity

There are four lessons that I’ve learned about unity over the years as a pastor. 

First, unity means getting along.  Think of a basketball team.  What does it mean for a basketball team to be unified?  First, it means that they get along; they aren’t fighting with each other; they are being kind and respectful of each other.  If we don't get along, then we won't get things done.

Second, unity means working together.  Unity is not merely the absence of conflict.  For a basketball team to be unified they all need to be working together on the same goal -- the goal of winning.  For our church to be unified, it’s not enough that we get along.  We also need to work together.  All hands on deck.  Everyone needs to get involved in accomplishing the mission of the church. 

The third lesson that I’ve learned about unity is that it is very fragile.  It is very easy to disrupt the unity of a church.  People get mad and leave the church over all sorts of petty reasons.  That’s why we need to remember two things.  For the sake of unity, be very careful to treat each other with respect and kindness.  And second, give each other lots of grace.  Don’t demand that the church be perfect for you to stick around.  When someone offends you, forgive them.  When you don't get your way, don't take it personally.  Your idea may not be needed, but you are. 

And a fourth lesson that I’ve learned about unity is that it takes hard work.  You would think that if we all just love God then we’ll be unified.  It’s not that simple.  Unity takes hard work.  It takes intentionality.  A church naturally drifts toward division and dissension, not unity.  That’s why Ephesians 4:3 says, “making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

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