Day Twenty One - Protecting Your Church
It is my job to protect the unity of my church. Unity is a critical component of God's plan for Christian community and I must do all I can to promote it. The Bible gives several pointers on how to protect the unity in my church.
- Focus on what we have in common, not our differences. We are called to be united, not uniform. Therefore I need to focus on what we have in common and not get hung up on small points. I need to find unity in diversity.
- Be realistic in my expectations. If I find the perfect church it is no longer perfect the moment I join! I need to realize that no church will ever be perfect since churches are composed of sinful people. I need to bear with the church through struggles and imperfection.
- Choose to encourage rather than criticize. I am to be involved and contribute to the church rather than stand on the sidelines and complain about what others are doing. I must not be judgmental.
- Refuse to listen to gossip. By listening to gossip I am being part of the problem. I am to separate myself from those who are gossipers.
- Practice God's method for conflict resolution. In Matthew 18 Jesus outlined the Biblical model of conflict resolution. I am to follow this model.
- Support my pastor and leaders. God has given my pastors and leaders the responsibility and authority to maintain the unity of the church. I am to help them in this task in every way possible. I am also to honor my spiritual leaders through encouragement, love, prayers and appreciation.
God blesses churches that are unified. It is the responsibility of each and every Christian to do all we can do to protect the unity of our local churches.
Warren quotes the Bible twenty six times using eight translations and paraphrases. Generally speaking he quotes the Bible within its proper context and uses accurate translations.
Point To Ponder
Today's point to ponder is "it is my responsibility to protect the unity of my church." This is often something we file away under the responsibilities of our pastors. We believe that it is their job to keep the church unified. But from the Bible we see that it is the job of each and every Christian.
I think we can often lose track of the little things we do that can hurt the unity of the church. Obviously gossip is one of the biggest ways unity is destroyed. When we gossip about others we are creating disunity. In my own life I have seen how gossip is a destructive force that has destroyed many relationships and many churches. We all need to learn to tame our tongues!
Tomorrow's topic is Created To Become Like Christ