(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” – John Maxwell
From little on we chose or become leaders. The elementary school experience would not be complete without a game of follow the leader. Most kids wanted to be the leader…in fact I recall a few instances where one kid was reluctantly following another leader and announced, “I don’t like where he’s going. Follow me.”
Suddenly the game became more complicated. Who do you follow? Or do you form a third option of leadership?
The church can become like this too. Some follow a theology. Some follow a personality. Some follow prosperity. Some follow simplicity. Some follow a diversity. The list could go on.
Each of these can show up in a church. So it gets complicated. And we feel torn. Because chances are each of these settings claims a connection with Christ.
But each of the above should also be a follower…to Christ.
Satan loves to create disunity and confusion of leadership. Unity in the church comes when we fall underneath the leadership of Christ.
Why does that make a difference? Here’s three reasons…
First, God placed all things under Christ’s feet…not yours. God appointed Christ to be head of the Church, not you.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22)
Second, God, his Spirit, his Son, his love, his grace, his Words are what unifies the Church. When we get away from that, Satan wins and division occurs.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Third, unity is an answer to Jesus prayer…true unity. Jesus prayer is for us to experience such a close unity under his leadership that we experience the same closeness and connection he and his Father experienced, unified in message, ministry, and mission.
John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Whenever we see division in the church, we must seek it source. Honestly the truth of God and his Word will divide people out of love for the Word of God, the souls that could be led astray by false teaching, and a love for your own soul. In these cases, we separate from those that would harm our or another’s soul. But in many cases, division is simply Satan getting into our hearts and minds and getting us to follow someone or something other than Jesus…which might be at times ourselves.
Games of follow the leader can be fun, even when you are challenged to follow, especially when you follow a leader who is leading you through the challenges of life to your eternal home in heaven.
Unity is found under the leadership of Christ.
Application & Prayer: Reflect on and pray through this hymn:
- The church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
- Elect from every nation, Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
- Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping; Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song.
- The church shall never perish, Her dear Lord to defend
To guide, sustain and cherish, Is with her to the end
Though there be those that hate her, And false sons in her pale
Against a foe or traitor, She ever shall prevail
- Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore;
‘Til, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blessed,
And the great church victorious Shall be the church at rest.