“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Paul, like in so many of his letters, was all the time reminding his churches that the Church is to be united. It is not like the agreement that we find outside of the church. It is not like the agreement that we find in politics, where one party is trying to get something from the other. It is not like the agreement we find in business, where both parties stand to gain monetarily from the deal.
Instead, the agreement comes from encouragement in Christ, from love, from the Holy spirit, and for affection and sympathy.
A leader spends a lot of time trying to foster unity. We try to get people on board with projects, we try to get people to see our point of view. We also try to get people on board with what we are doing using our influence. These are all fine and good, but remember that real unity, unity in a Christian sense, is fostered out of a sense of love for all others, and out of the Truth, that is, Jesus, the Word of God.
Being a leader and fostering unity from this standpoint is much more difficult than any of that other agreement. For a Christian leader, it’s all about loving other people to the point of deferment, being true to God’s word and to His will, and preaching and exhorting others to this point of unity.
You will spend lots of time fostering this kind of unity. More than anything else, it seems to be the place where Satan wants to stick his big boot. Fostering unity takes constant vigilance and tireless devotion by the Christian leader.
Something else, too: Paul spends a lot of time talking about unity, and Christ’s last prayer focuses on it; I think that it’s safe to say that unity is important to God. Remember that a divided house eventually falls, and its fall is great.
Christian Leadership Principle: Unity is vitally important to God and should also be important to us. Christian leaders will spend a lot of time fostering unity and keeping it.
Here’s a set of verses to meditate on today: Luke 11:14-23
Prayer: Father, thank You for the possibility of unity in You. Thank You for the Holy Spirit that unites us all and speaks to us. Help me to foster this unity among Your people. Help me to discern where unity is being challenged and to do what has to be done to keep it. In Christ’s Name, amen.