Well, I quoted Doc this weekend in one of the services so I thought I’d pass it along here. To be honest, I’m not sure which service I mentioned this in…with preaching four times every weekend, sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of all my spontaneous comments.
Anyway, we’re in a sermon series on our ten core values as a church (Christian Life Center, clcdayton.com). This weekend we focused on “Community.” We considered the true, soul-deep authentic (last week’s value) relational connection in community that all of us long for.
I cited studies that identify a sense of relational connection (versus being isolated) is good for your health and well being in almost every dimension of life. In addition, people who volunteer to serve others have greater health and well-being than those who do not.
In one of the messages, I spontaneously made a “Doc-quote.” I’ve said it so many times through the last 24 years as lead pastor, and referenced that it came from a mentor, that I just threw it out there. I basically said “Satan doesn’t fear a big church, he fears a united church.”
I believe Doc first told our church that in a sermon he preached at CLC in the summer of 1990. We had just undergone a traumatic and unexpected transition of our previous pastor, and anxiety was high among us…wondering what would happen to our church. This clarion call to unity challenged us to resist the temptation to cause division through gossip, critical attitudes, or not giving each other grace during a difficult time.
UNITY…it is essential to the success of just about any human endeavor. The marriage or family that is divided suffers, if it survives at all. Churches that once thrived can be marginalized through division. Sadly, the division is often over petty or temporary issues…but the damage can last for decades.
Likewise, your workplace rises or falls on being united. Even our great nation will only survive as it can remain the UNITED States of America.
Perhaps unity is so essential because it is part of the nature of God himself. The mystery of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” speaks of an eternal and unshakeable unity. Likewise, when Jesus prayed for His followers (the church) at the last supper, He prayed that we would all be one. Sadly, division comes naturally.
Resolve to be different! Starting today, be a uniting influence, whether it is in your school (it’s starting up again soon), your workplace, your home, neighborhood, and ESPECIALLY your church. Remember, every person who attends a church is there, in part, because they need grace; from God, and from you and I. But the need for grace goes well beyond the walls of a church, to every arena of public life. Give grace, promote a sense of unity where you are, you’ll be blessed.