2. Godly Unity
“…being diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)
In the Garden, Jesus asked the Father, “That they all may be one….that the world may believe that Thou didst send me” (John 17:21). Don’t rush over that lightly. Jesus repeated it two verses later. The church must be unified if we expect the outside world to believe in Jesus.
When a church or denominational body is not unified, everything grinds to a halt. Evangelism is forgotten, nothing gets done, members spend their time bickering and fighting, the godly among them are exasperated, the hurting and needy are neglected, the enemy rejoices, the devil has a field day, and the name of Jesus is blasphemed among the heathen.
When a church is unified and everything else is in order, the work goes more smoothly, people are ministered to, Christ is honored, God is exalted, and the enemy is defeated.
I remind church leaders that one of their prime functions is to preserve the unity of the congregation. That means staying on the alert and dealing with dissension and rebellion when it occurs.
This principle – of nipping rebellion in the bud – can be abused, of course. There is a proper time and place for everything. Wise and mature leaders will know what time it is.
3. Faithful Leadership
“That the leaders led in Israel, and that the people volunteered, O bless the Lord!” (Judges 5:2)
Someone has to stand out front and say, “This is the way.”
When Joshua led Israel’s multitudes across the Jordan River, the priests led the way carrying the ark of the Lord. They were instructed to stay 3,000 feet ahead of the people, thus allowing every man, woman, and child to have a clear view of them. The people were not told to follow whoever was in front of them, like lemmings dropping off a cliff, but each was to keep his eyes on the leaders, to follow them.
As the priests approached the waters of the Jordan, they might have had a minor crisis of faith. The waters had not receded! Only when their feet hit the water, did the Jordan divide (Joshua 3:4,15).
That’s the problem with being a leader: decision-making may require great faith and courage.
Show me a church where the pastor is a follower, where he refuses to exercise courage and stand before the congregation and declare, “This is what God wants us to do,” and I will show you a church that is doing nothing. Let the pastors and leadership be people of boldness and courage.
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