When people are at odds it is really hard to get much done. When people are of one mind, there is hardly anything they can’t get done. That is one of the lessons of Babel.

Unity kind of works like entropy. It just naturally falls apart. Ephesians 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Unity takes effort. We are to make every effort.

I submit four things you can do to make the effort to keep the unity. This is not every effort a leader can make, but it is an essential list.

1. Pray.

Leaders often pray for growth and assume unity. Jesus acted the other way around. Jesus assumed growth when he said, “I will build my church.” But Jesus prayed for unity when he said in John 17, “May they be one as we are one.” Are you praying for those things that foster unity? Are you praying against those things that are hindering it? How many others do you have doing the same?

2. Teach.

2 Timothy 2:14 says, “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words. It is of no value and only ruins those who listen.” After a lengthy explanation about how the  Romans should get along, Paul summarizes in Romans 15:5-6, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” Paul taught about unity and  told his leaders to teach it.

3. Communicate.

No one has more opportunity to “bend the ear” of people than a local pastor. Beyond the pulpit and lectern, you have countless opportunities to communicate unity among the congregation. Do you use the chances you are given to foster unity, to rally people together, to bind commitment to a common purpose or are you not saying anything – at worse, communicating against it? You have the opportunity to get people on the same page. Sometimes it’s as easy as having an actual page where you’ve written down what they are to unify around.

4. Train.

A leader can do all the praying, teaching, and communicating possible to foster unity – and do a good job of it. However, if a leader isn’t showing others how to do it, that unity will be short-lived. This isn’t telling them about unity, but putting the tools needed in people’s hands and hearts, so they can “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace” within their spheres of influence.

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