Church Unity and the Advancement of the Gospel

In churches we tend to get distracted.  Events, activities, committee meetings, budget meetings, church council, youth committee meetings, children’s committee meetings.  Did I mention committee meetings?  Needless to say, churches can quickly become busy with the hustle and bustle of church activity.  In fact, it can get to the point where the church is so busy doing church, that we don’t take the time to reflect on whether we are actually accomplishing what we set out to accomplish.  Often, we tend to find ourselves defining our church by what programs we offer or activities we perform.  In fact, we tend to fall in love with our methodology of ministry and it becomes an functional idol.  As a result, what tends to happen is that the congregation becomes disunified as people argue over the proper methodology of doing church.

Paul in his letter to the Philippians stresses that the church needs to remain unified for the sake of the Gospel.  Apparently there is a bit of conflict among the congregation among two women, Euodia and Syntyche (Phil 3:).  It is not clear what the problem between the two was, but what is clear is that the disunity was distracting them from the churches primary mission, the advancement of the Gospel.

As a church, that is our mission isn’t it?  The ultimate goal is to see the Gospel go forth, and to see lives changed by the grace of God found in Jesus Christ.  How come we get so hung up in our methodology, that we forget this?  Churches divide on worship style, sunday school curriculum, services, or even changing the color of the carpet.  Why should any of these issues be so divisive amongst the body?  This is why we must constantly remind ourselves of our mission and goal, the advancement of the Gospel.  The correct question to ask is not which worship style do we want our church to be, but what worship style will be most effective for the advancement of the Gospel in our community? In other words we should be constantly evaluating all our busyness and asking how this particular activity is helping to advance the Gospel of Jesus.  We must pause and evaluate and not let the busyness of activity fool us into thinking that we are actually being successful. There are too many people in our cities that need the Gospel to waste time.  The urgency is great, and we don’t have time for petty differences in methodology.  So pause and ask yourself the question, how can you best advance the Gospel in your church?