Some time ago Billy Graham said that if God would bring another great revival to America He could use the United Methodist Church to do it.
Rev. Graham reasoned that our denomination was better organized than any other to reach the peoples. Our structure, polity, and number of churches, if unified and committed, could be a powerful tool for the Holy Spirit.
I have come to believe our authoritative and organizational structure, though not perfect, is closer to that of God’s Kingdom than that of any other denomination. Power comes from the top down, yet everyone has a voice. Individuals and groups are given responsibility for their areas of ministry, but input from others is welcomed. When things need to happen, we are formed to get it done. When problems arise, we know whom to turn to.
One of the great blessings of good organization is the peace it produces. When everyone knows and accepts their area of responsibility and the authority that goes with it, and the domain of others too, differences of opinion are settled by allowing those with authority in that specific area to make the final decision.
I am not writing this because of any major unrest in our church family. Things are going well and we ‘are’ following the leading of the Head of our Church, Jesus Christ. He is giving us His plans, plans to use us in greater and greater ways. I am writing this so that God’s peace stays here with us at Broadway and so that we will continue to move forward as ‘one’ body.
And when people don’t handle their responsibilities well, which happens, we turn to the group or individual responsible and do what we must, in Christian love, for the sake of the ministry and for the glory of God. We do not allow anything to permit Satan to bring division or cause us to be unfruitful. God’s peace rules where He is obeyed.
The character quality necessary for peace is humility. Humility is a state of the heart and determination of the mind to submit to those in authority over us, and to assist and support them in keeping the responsibilities they have been given. Pride steals peace; humility maintains peace.
We are essentially talking about trusting God-knowing that He can and will use the government of the church, and His servants in it, to fulfill His purposes for it. When we remember that ultimate authority rests with Him, we can have peace even when we do not agree or we don’t understand why others in the church make the decisions they do. And as we continue to trust and turn to God together, He just might start a revival right here.
“The Lord with give strength unto His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11 KJV)