Today’s blog post is written by guest writer, Andrea Hamilton Binley
“…A divided household falls.” Luke 11:17 (ESV)
“Avoid stupid controversies…” Titus 3:9 (CEB)
“It is these who cause division, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” Jude 19
Ok so, apparently the Bible has a lot to say about division – and none of it is good. This has been a gnarly issue since the Church’s start, and for good reason. It’s incredibly difficult for a group of flawed humans to come together for anything and stay in-step.
In my 15 short years of ministry, I’ve seen all sorts of social dynamics at work. So how can we avoid division with difficult, delicate, or just plain different people?
Here are four ways to disarm division on our worship teams:
1. Remember You’re On The Same Team
Keeping the Mission your focus can help shrink down differences and surface some common ground.
See, God has made peace the new theme in your life. We’re reconciled with Him, so we’re entrusted with a role of reconciliation in the world.
However little you thought you had in common with Mr./Ms. EGR (Extra Grace Required), you actually are sewn with the same thread: peace. Don’t think they have it in them? Well, if they know Jesus, it’s in there somewhere.
“You are joined together with peace through the Spirit. Do all you can to continue as you are, letting peace hold you together.” Ephesians 4:3 (ERV)
I’m amazed at how helpful a simple apology can sometimes be. If you’ve had a potentially divisive conversation or experience with someone you worship with, find something you can say sorry for.
If they did everything wrong and you’re perfect, you can still say “I value you and I’m sorry that happened between us.” Apologizing is usually disarming to them, and good for you.
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there and go. First be reconciled to them, then come offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV, NIV)
3. Confront Dividers
I know we all love confrontation so much. 🙂 But a big part of protecting unity in the church is gently and kindly pointing out a divisive person’s actions and how they may be jeopardizing the health of the team.
This person may not even fully realize what they’re doing, and even if they do, the opportunity to share their thoughts and hurts with you directly may diffuse some of their desire to share it elsewhere.
Remember that this type of conversation almost always goes better than the how we imagine it will! For even more advice on how to do this, see this awesome blog by Grace To You.
“If a brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” Matthew 18:15
4. As Far As It Depends On You…
I recently had the unfortunate experience of a volunteer stepping away from our ministry due to a misunderstanding. I was bummed, reached out, reached out again, asked some other staffers to reach out, etc, but it became clear this person wasn’t planning to talk with me – only others about me.
There are always going to be people that take offense. Whenever you run into a situation like this, just focus on keeping your own conscious clear.
If you’re doing everything you can to weed out any division on your team, then sleep soundly – whether other people are doing their part or not.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”Romans 12:18 (NIV)
Division is a big deal and we want to see and address it wisely on our team. It’s amazing how, when you set your mind to do that, God brings opportunities, words, and wise solutions to help you out!
Unity is something He’s really going for in His Church, so you certainly won’t be alone in the worthwhile goal of disarming division!
What are some helpful things you’ve learned about unity? Why do you think division is so frowned upon in the Bible? Comment below and share!
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