We all know that unity is essential. Psalm 133 tells us that God
commands His blessing where unity exists. When brothers and sisters
dwell in unity. It might be easier to be in unity with others across the
world, but the challenge is to be in unity with those in close proximity.
Not quarreling or being in competition, but rather delighting in one
another. Unity is not all of us doing the same thing, but each of us
using our different gifts headed in the same direction.
A symphony is beautiful, not because all are playing the same
instrument, but because each musician is playing the same song. If
each musician played his or her favorite song, it would just be a
cacophony of noise. Each is bringing a sound that contributes to the
harmony which makes the song amazing.
Same in church.
We all want God’s blessing on our lives and our churches, and that
comes when we walk in unity. Unity comes when we each lay down our
ego and our way and prefer the other.
A bible scholar puts it like this:
Living in harmony does not mean that we will agree on everything;
there will be many opinions just as there are many notes in a musical
chord. But we must agree on our purpose in life — to work together for
God. Our outward expression of harmony will reflect our inward
harmony of purpose.
At a leadership gathering recently, I was asked this question:
How do we create unity in our leadership teams, especially in teams of
very strong people, when you have a lot of strong opinions?
As a senior leader, it is up to you to cast a compelling and clear vision.
You tell everyone the ‘song’. It is your responsibility to give the big
picture and the time line to reach it. When a vision is clear, it makes it
easier for those who serve with you to follow.
As a leader of a department, it is up to you to take the vision from
your senior leader and make it relevant to your department. It
becomes your job to use your instrument to play the ‘song’ given by
the leader, not come up with a new ‘song.’ If you disagree with the
direction, communicate it with respect and honor. Most leaders are
open for different opinions, but shut down when they are
communicated to with disrespect.
As a senior leader, I love hearing the different opinions and ideas
about how to carry out the vision I have in my heart. In creating the
She Rises conference, I have the big picture ideas, but there is no way
I could bring it to completion without the help and input of others. For
this year, I had an idea about how to create the opener, which would
set the mood and create the atmosphere I wanted. The team listened,
and then strongly came back with ideas, while they initially seemed
different, they actually will make it better. My job is to give the ‘song’
and then let the other instruments play their part. I also have to be
strong enough and clear enough. I have found most problems with
unity come when the leader is not clear enough, or when the followers
ignore the ‘song.’ I am an outgoing, strong leader, and am not
intimidated by the outspoken opinions of others, and so am willing
listen. I am also willing to say, “no’, that is not what I want, and then
paint the picture again.
Senior leader challenge: Be clear with the vision. Be open for strong
opinions on how to make it happen. Be clear with each yes and each
Team member: Make sure you understand the vision- the song. Use
your strengths to figure out how to reach the vision- to make the
And for all of us: God commands his blessing when unity is present.
That means between our churches as well. We will all do things
differently. If we waste time arguing over where we are different — the
I heard someone say one time about our church…and they said it in a
disparaging way “there are other ways to do church” well…duh! There
are thousands — as many ways as there are churches.
Some sing hymns -some don’t.
Some speak in tongues -some don’t.
Some say dancing is bad -some dance with passion.
Some say no drinking alcohol -some don’t care.
Some say women shouldn’t teach -some have women pastors.
Some are mellow — some are energetic
Some say there shouldn’t be instruments in church -some have full
Some are full of Republicans -some are full of Democrats.
I could keep going, but why would we let these issues divide us?
Wouldn’t the fact that we love Jesus and believe that He is the way to
God be what unites us?
We will never solve the big challenges on the earth as long as we let
issues like these divide us!
ABOUT HOLLY WAGNER
Holly and her husband, Philip, co-pastor the Oasis Church located in Los Angeles. She and Philip have taught many relationship seminars around the world and are committed to healthy marriages, especially their own! They love spending time with their two young adult children, Jordan and Paris, and enjoy seeing them fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives. Holly is also a student at Liberty University.
Holly is passionate about seeing women become who God has designed them to become, and to see every generation of woman extend a helping hand to the generation that is younger. Through the women’s ministry of Oasis, GodChicks, Holly seeks to blow the lid off the boxes that women have sometimes put themselves in and encourages women to be the amazing, world-changing champions they were made to be.
She has written several books, using her humorous yet challenging style to encourage readers. Her books include: GodChicks, Daily Steps for GodChicks, WarriorChicks, Survival Guide for Young Women, and Love Works.