Last Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at an outdoor community worship service. The sermon was about the model prayer that Jesus gave his followers; the text was Matthew 6:9-13.
After the service, a lady—let’s call her “Sue”—came up to me and introduced herself. She was obviously upset, and she asked if she might have a word with me. Then she poured out her heart about her concern for her church. There was turmoil there, and the church seemed on the verge of a split. That very weekend she had learned that two of her dearest friends were leaving the church. The message I had preached had touched her heart. She was experiencing the devastating effects of what happens when people are more concerned about the growth of their own little kingdoms than they are about God’s. She was witnessing the consequences that occur in so many churches where people would rather have their own will done than God’s.
I prayed with Sue, asking God’s blessing on her and her congregation. She thanked me, and we went our separate ways.
Unity is difficult to maintain. That’s why the Bible often urges us to work for it. Ephesians 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
This teaching is needed in every church. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.