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7 Thoughts on Creating Unity in a Church for a New Pastor

Unity in a Church for a New Pastor

I once consulted with a church struggling to move forward. The pastor had been there a couple of years, had a great vision and was supported by most everyone, there were adequate resources, the community needed a healthy church (as all do), but they never could get any traction.

In working with the church, I quickly assessed they had a unity problem. The church had two dominant factions—mostly split over a denominational issue. I felt like a genius consultant when I uncovered the root problem, but the truth is I only discovered what they already knew—yet never admitted.

The challenge wasn’t discovering the problem, however, it was in finding solutions. The church needed to come together if there was any hope to move forward and realize all the opportunities God was sending their way.

It should be noted—this church was united around the Gospel. They wanted to see people come to know Christ. They were divided by lesser issues. If a church can’t rally around making disciples of Jesus Christ—our core purpose—it will be near impossible to unite on anything else.

So how do you create unity in a church?

Here are seven thoughts on creating unity in a church:

Avoid the core DNA when making changes

There are some things which are not worth changing—especially until unity returns. It makes no sense to create further disunity in an area where the church is already unified. For example, if the church is overwhelmingly supportive of Sunday school, but you are a proponent of small groups, don’t try to make the change now (if ever) until unity is achieved. (If the core DNA is divisiveness, harder decisions regarding the vitality and future of the church should be made.)

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Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.