When I speak with people about church, they always ask the denomination. Then I say, “Oh it’s non-denominational.” It’s an interesting phrase. There’s different denominations (for example Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist). Then there’s non-denominational. Those are the churches that claim to not be affiliated with any of the known denominations. After the Early Church that you read about in Acts, things started to break apart. As time continued, groups were formed from other groups. Some churches have so many different divisions in their names, it becomes a tongue twister.
The denominations all came about from a difference of beliefs. This still happens today, hence the reason we have tons of church plants and longer than life names. The reason for the differences of beliefs, and at times, disunity of the church, is because we are a broken people. The church is filled with sinners, many sinners who are saved by grace alone. But we aren’t perfect. Some of us are proud, lazy, quick to speak, discontent, disorganized, agenda focused, bossy, or fable telling folks. We aren’t perfect, so it’s hard for us to all live together in harmony.
Nonetheless, the Bible speaks a lot about unity or harmony. Yes, that’s the vision God has for His Church. The capital “C” Church is the universal church. Broken down, this is all of the denominations and non-denominations. Together, as the big C, we need to be united. Remember, the Church is the body of Christ. The Church is people, not buildings. As the big C, we must remember Who we worship, Who we follow, Who is the Head of the Body. Even so, all of the little C’s need to also be united as separate bodies.
This seems like an impossible task. People can rarely get along. There are bound to be disagreements. Yes. Very true. But with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Remember the reason for the Church. Keep running the race. The Spirit will unite us if we allow ourselves to be led (Ephesians 4:3). Don’t be proud. Don’t think you know it all. Humble yourself and seek the best for others (1 Corinthians 10:24). Love. It’s the bond of perfect unity (see Colossians 3:14). Live in harmony.
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” – Romans 12:16 [NLT]
I love reading Paul’s letters to Timothy. What a wealth of information for leadership that Paul has shared with his young ministry worker and the world. In 1 Timothy 3, he reviews the qualifications of overseers. He poses an important question—“if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?”
Leadership must start at the home. God appreciates order. He created order from the chaos. As we read each book of the Bible, we see order. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in all of the small details in the Bible—instead appreciate the small details, understanding that God cares so much even for the smallest of details. Everything is meant to fit perfectly. Everything is perfectly designed. It’s something we cannot fathom. The world is filled with balance and rhythm my friends.
A good leader manages family well. The man is a strong godly leader of his family. A godly man loves and supports his wife. A godly woman submits to her husband and supports her husband as the leader of the family. They raise their children in the disciple and teaching of the Lord. A godly couple lives life with a balance of grace and truth. A godly person is respected. Because a godly man manages his family well, his life is balanced so he is able to thereby serve God’s church. This is the same for a woman’s ministry role. If he or she does not manage the family well in their God given role, the chaos at home will follow to the church. This is a great truth spoken by Paul, a truth that speaks volumes. Ministry always starts at home. Any ministry outside the home is an overflow. Focus first in your home, and the overflow will follow.
“He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” – 1 Timothy 3:4-5 [NLT]