Leadership

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Unity and harmony within our ministries or businesses have been strained and tested over the past few years.  The world has become more divided, causing people to take sides on many issues.

As a leader, you need to guard the unity and harmony of your ministry or business. 

For God to move in your ministry or business, it needs to be united—no matter what’s occurring in the culture and worldwide.  I’m convinced that we’ll have the church’s power in Acts when we have the church’s unity in Acts.  Then, we’ll be able to set aside our petty differences and disagreements and unite around one thing: the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:32).

So, how can you maintain unity and harmony when forces surrounding your ministry try to split it apart?

Here are five ways to safeguard the unity and harmony of your ministry or business. 

 1. Cultivate an attitude of acceptance in your ministry or business.

Accepting people where they are is essential, not where you want them to be.  It is wise not to major on minor issues.  It is not necessary to require that everyone agrees on every minor detail. 

Romans 14:1 says, Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.” (NLT).

Notice that Paul recognizes those “who are weak in the faith.” You won’t agree on everything and don’t need to do so to have unity in your ministry. 

2. Concentrate on your shared purpose.

First Corinthians 1:10 reminds us, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other.  Let there be no divisions in the church.  Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (NLT).

Focusing on a shared purpose leads to unity.  That’s why we focus on our purpose to exist at Make It Clear Ministries and Clarity Christian College.  It helps us stay on the “same page.” I wouldn’t want to be a part of another ministry unless I was confident about where it was going.  Therefore, I shouldn’t expect others to do so, either. 

3. Control your what you say.

Don’t let gossip fester in your ministry or business.  When someone comes with a problem, have your leaders ask themselves: “Is this a valid concern?” If it is, they need to know where to take the concern.  If it’s not, they need to have the other person stop gossiping.

The Bible says gossip is a sin.  When you listen to it, you become a cohort in it.  Ephesians 4:29 says, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (NASB).

Rick Warren asks and answers, what is gossip?  Gossip is when you’re sharing a problem or criticism with someone who is neither part of the problem nor part of the solution.

4. Communicate that people should support their leaders.

Hebrews 13:17 should get the attention of everyone in ministry leadership: “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say.  Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God.  Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow.  That would certainly not be for your benefit” (NLT). It’s not the part about people obeying leaders that is most important to me.  It’s the part that says, “They are accountable to God.” 

One day, we will stand and give an account before the Lord for the people we lead.  He’ll hold us accountable for the direction of the church or business and the spiritual development of those we lead.

5. Continue God’s method of conflict resolution.

Matthew 18:15-17 gives us the plan to follow when the unity and harmony of the ministry are under attack.  The solution is to go directly to the person with whom we have a problem.  If that person doesn’t listen, you should bring along with you another observer.  If the person still doesn’t listen, bring them before the senior leadership and let them decide how much further this should go.

What happens if the person still doesn’t listen and gets into the “unity room”?  You still love them but don’t have them continue in your ministry or business.

If you’re a Christian leader, unity and harmony are your responsibility.  Jesus tells us that our unity will be a witness for Him (John 13:35).

What do your ministry’s or business’s unity and harmony tell the world about God?

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Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.