Many ministry teams fail because they struggle to achieve practical unity. We, unfortunately, miss unity when we actually long for uniformity.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!Psalm 133:1
Unity among the family of God is a good thing! Finding unity within the church is not about everyone becoming like one another. It must mean something else to achieve the type of unity that furthers a ministry’s mission.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.1 Corinthians 1:10
How do you achieve unity? It is not by trying to tune ourselves to one another but by a consistent, outside standard.
Think of what it means for a worship team to work together. Imagine that it is time to start Sunday morning soundcheck. As your entire worship team arrives, people are getting the essentials in place and begin to tune up their instruments.
Instead of using any electronic regulated pitch, the bassist tunes his instrument by using the acoustic guitar which is a bit flat, to begin with. The electric guitar then uses the bass to tune his guitar but his ears have trouble ascertaining the lower pitches. The entire team uses their ears one by one and tunes their instrument based on the imperfectly tuned instrument before them.
When everyone says they are ready to go, you count off the timing to begin. As the first chord plays, your mouth is unable to describe what your ears are experiencing. The key is not established, and everything sounds close enough and yet far enough to be incredibly frustrating. Not only will the singers have a difficult time figuring out where to sing among this auditory conglomeration, but the congregation will also be completely lost.
What was the problem? They were trying to tune to each other rather than an outside standard. That’s how most of us misunderstand the concept of unity. Pursuing unity is not bending to one another, but rather, it is bending together towards another standard.
In many orchestras, the oboist uses a modern electronic meter to ensure he or she is in tune, and then the bright, permeating sound of the oboe cascades over the entire orchestra as they all rally to that one pitch. They unify around something they know to be concrete. The entire performance that day is contingent upon each of them being tuned to a standard higher than each individual instrument.
Unity will never be found by tuning to one another but by tuning to the standard-bearer.