The Gospel is polarizing. So often we build the unity of our churches on anything other than the Gospel.
We build it on a worship style.
We build our unity on our social group.
We build our unity on our skin color.
We build our unity by our age.
We build our unity on entertainment and fun.
We build our unity on politics
We build our unity on anything other than the blood of Christ. The danger is that when we take Christ from being the cornerstone we have lost the church completely. Christ alone is what brings us together as a local body of believers. It is through his life, death, and resurrection that we are able to be forgiven of our sins and grafted into the kingdom, adopted as a child of God. When we put false foundations in instead of Jesus as the source for our unity, we fail to be a church and instead become a social club.
I have found in my ministry that when you begin to remove these false foundations and replace it with Christ it polarizes people. Not everyone will understand making Christ the center and source of unity in their community. They have lived their church lives standing on the instability of false foundation so long that they have forgotten what it is like to stand on the immovable rock.
Our churches are plagued with building their lives on sinking sand rather than Christ. As a result many people have a hard time grabbing a hold of a great vision of Christ and his sufficiency in unifying the church.
For pastors this can be a very difficult and an often painful task. Removing these false foundations can be very painful for the sheep and they will bite back. However a Pastor must operate like a surgeon. A surgeon cuts the patient for the patients health. Although the surgeon inflicts damage, his intentions are not to harm but to heal. Pastors we must operate in the same way. We must have the courage to cut out these false foundations and replace them with the Gospel. However we must make sure we operate in love, with patience and teaching. A pastor must love his sheep, sacrificing his own ego and reputation if necessary for the good of the flock. A Pastor must imitate Christ by walking the way of suffering, laying down his own life for the sake of his people. Pastor you and I must do this. The health of our churches depend on it.
Making Christ the sole foundation for your ministry will not be easy, quick, or painless, but nevertheless it is necessary. For the sake of our churches we must do this and for the sake of our own souls. As pastors we are men who must give account, and at the end of the day we will not be held accountable for our popularity but our faithfulness in proclaiming to our people the whole counsel of God. We must minister in such a way in which we can stand before the Chief Shepherd at the day of judgement knowing we have stewarded our responsibility of shepherding well.