UNITY     by Pastor Paul Locke

Working alone in winning souls is not a problem to me as I have a boldness that is unusual.  My actions often amuse or alarm people who work alongside me but I purposely do showman like things to encourage boldness in this work.  The Bible tells me that obedience brings a blessing where five can pursue a hundred and a hundred of us can pursue ten thousand (Lev 26:8).  So when two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name there He is in the midst of us.  This tells me to work with others is more powerful than being alone and this may be the reason that Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs.  The problem in working with others is that unity must prevail because it is written, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity…for there the Lord bestows his blessing.” (Ps 133:1) 

God appoints leaders so that a team is able to go in unity of purpose.  It is not a question of rules but being of the one spirit.  When I speak about opposition I say that they are of a different spirit.  To install unity of purpose God showed me in the very first instance that a team should pray a prayer of repentance and minister the Holy Spirit to one another before commencing to do God’s work.  What should happen then is that if anyone comes among you who is not baptised in the Holy Spirit, they will be after the prayer ministry.  Occasionally some slip under the guard and block the anointing and I watch newcomers lips as they pray to ensure they are in unity.  During the work period if the anointing leaves it becomes very clear that an interloper is in our midst as “the glory has departed” (ISam 4:21).

Teamwork is where the members of the team empathize with each other, often scooping up souls missed by another member.  At the end of the session we pray again assuring each other that we are all partakers of the blessing equally (Acts 2:44) even though some may have led many to the Lord and others a few.   Encouraging one another is a vital part of the work, even sharing knowledge of events such as the nature of miracles that take place.  This encouragement helps to build the faith and teaching also helps different aspects of the ministry. 

The example given in the Bible of the twelve disciples sent out (Lk 9:1) as compared to the seventy two (Lk 10:1).  They were all commissioned by Jesus to work in signs and wonders and preach on the Kingdom of God.  I suspect that some form of disunity prevailed with the twelve if you remember the argument later about who would be the greatest.  Where the seventy two would have been spurred by the rebuke Jesus gave the twelve for having little faith.  The seventy two must surely have been in unity because of the blessing on their work.  So unity is vital to ministry.

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