We can accomplish more together than we can apart.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:3 NLT
A charter member leaves the church because children are allowed to play games in the family life center. A group splits and forms their own church because they didn’t like a decision made by the majority. A member spreads vicious rumors about one of the church’s leaders even though they are false. A member disagrees with the majority’s decision on a matter but becomes a thorn that spreads dissent in the church. Members fight over the style of music, color of carpet, or what color to paint the Sunday school rooms. A young Christian leaves the church when the church decides they won’t continue in a community fellowship because it is interracial. Just a few of the situations I’ve encountered in my church journey.
First century churches weren’t immune to squabbles, disagreements, and unspiritual activities. As Paul made a plea for them to be unified then, so church leaders face the same challenge in twenty-first century churches. Unity doesn’t entail total agreement on every decision. Due to our human natures, various beliefs, and different personalities, this is an impossible goal.
When disagreements arise—and they will, unity allows for disagreement without being disagreeable. An attitude of “I’ll support the majority’s decisions” goes a long way in promoting oneness in God’s churches. Democratic nations function in an identical fashion. As long as the church is not making unbiblical decisions, this should be my attitude.
Unity also happens when the members of the body garner themselves around a common vision. While the mission of every church should be the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), individual churches have different visions.
Remembering believers are all serving the same Lord—even though we differ on some insignificants, helps us keep the bond of unity in love within our churches. What can you do to promote a deeper spirit of unity in your church?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we be the magnets that draw others to the unity You desire us to possess.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Jusben.)