Leadership#11. “Unity.”

Leadership#11. “Unity.”

Benjamin Franklin was under no illusions that independence from Britain, the greatest power on earth at the time, could only be achieved if all 13 American Colonies remained united. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Franklin had a stern warning for his fellow Revolutionaries: “We must, indeed, hang together or, most assuredly, we will all hang separately.”

If disunity meant death for a nation, how much more for a congregation?

At first glance, many conclude that divisions in the church are due to doctrinal differences. However, closer scrutiny will reveal that most divisions are due to petty differences; minor slights escalating into ‘unresolvable’ issues.

This is shameful, and a far cry from the beautiful image presented by the Psalmist: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! (Psa.133:1).

United churches are attractive places to be. Who doesn’t want to be a part of a Christlike family that is going forward? There a soul can invest their life in the church with great hope.

But by horrific contrast, the world mocks to see members leave congregations over personal whims. How many “latest ideas,” or “expert opinions” have brought disharmony to an otherwise contented groups? Before we push our preferences, maybe we should heed that wise old woman who always asked: “Is this going to matter in 100 years?”‘

Unity’ is the Divine Stamp of the mature congregation. In Christ’s High Priestly prayer, Jesus says to the Father: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one” (Jn.17:22).

Church leaders work hard to encourage the brethren to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph.4:3). This is made possible only when each member consistently puts the needs of others first. This prevents any notion of self-importance and promotes a united family environment.

John Staiger

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