By: Waylon Bailey ~
The letters of the New Testament are filled with instructions for church unity. Paul’s letters to the churches particularly target this need for the church.
One of the churches which heard much about unity was the church at Philippi. Paul addressed the issue several times, but none was as riveting as his call to two women of the church to agree in the Lord. He called Euodia and Syntyche to come together for the good of the church and the gospel. “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true comrade, I ask you to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:2-3).
What lessons can we learn about church unity?
First, treat everyone equitably and with respect. Paul did this with Euodia and Syntyche. He did not give any indication who was right or wrong. He simply called each of these wonderful Christian workers to live in harmony and to work together to advance the gospel.
Second, find other people to help you to bring about unity in the Church. Unity, respect, and common purpose are a group decision. When we covenant to work together, we get buy-in and we get a common desire to advance the kingdom. Paul enlisted his “true comrade” (was this Timothy?) to work with him and others to promote unity in the church.
Third, make sure everyone keeps their eyes on the prize. Motivation is the key in church unity. It can’t be about me or you. It must be about pleasing God.
Anything less than seeking to please God fully and completely will not bring the ideal harmony the church needs. When we do seek to place God above all else, the lid that hinders the church will be blown off so that the church can grow in the gospel and go out to the ends of the earth.
We must practice these practical lessons about church unity.
Have a great week!