25 ideas for seeking cohesion in your church

Think of a time when your church was as unified as you have ever seen it. Make a list of the factors of unity and cohesion at work at that time.

Think of the last several times someone told you that your church was their place of hope and connection. What was happening in that person’s life that made that possible?

Never reward the behaviors of people whose attitude is divisive.

Have a cup of coffee with another leader in the church who tends to pull in a different direction from you. Insofar as possible make a personal connection.

Think of some way in which you can “see to it that no one misses the grace of God,” by telling a story of grace sometime within the next week.

Discuss with two or three long-standing very mature members of the church what the long-standing history of the church is. Where are there deep-running fractures? Where is there unity?

Give up any desire to please everybody. Recommit to the role of the shepherd (who feeds, protects, and leads).

Apologize to someone you hurt in some way that created a fracture.

Be thinking of five key leaders in your church whom you could discuss this book with.

Develop confidential friendships with leaders from other churches who can be a sounding board for you.

Visit three other churches in the next year, not simply to copy ideas, but to gain a wider and wider vision of the Whole Church.

Read three books this year which show the Whole Church in action (not theoretical books).

Step away from your church, take a real vacation, and then reset your vision of what is most important.

Find five things your church should stop doing because they are ineffective, they take energy and resources, and they probably take away from the church more than they give.

Adopt a mindset of continual incremental change. Always use the word “change” with a positive connotation when addressing the church. Use the word frequently.

Find a mature person or couple in your church who would consider it an honor to meet with you and pray for you.

Talk with your family members about whether you bring frustration from ministry work into your family, and decide together on what standards you will hold.

Ask yourself these four questions for right now: How are you 1) engaged with God; 2) engaged with God’s people; 3) engaged with your community; 4) engaged with the world?

Get a notebook and allow yourself enough time as you read this book to write out specific ideas that apply to your ministry as you go chapter by chapter.

Go further by checking out the additional resources at www.wholechurch.org

Take a prayer and meditation day to give yourself some time to assess where you are at in ministry right now.

Confess to God ways in which you have been the cause of fragmentation in someone else’s life.

Read the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 and make notes on what the essential qualities of faithful churches are.

Decide that you will be bold in simplifying and focussing your ministry as a leader. Make a list of six ways in which you can do that in the next six months.

Go to the place where your church meets at sometime when no one else is around. Have an hour of prayer, asking God to give you a vision of a Whole Church.

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