Develop the art of keeping people together
Five keys to keeping people together
1. Have a strong desire to keep everyone together.
Fight to prevent the loss of even one person. Jesus’ aim was to lose none of the people God had given Him.
Pastoring a church is the art of keeping people together. At many points in the life of a church, there are situations that have the potential of dividing people. You must develop the art of keeping people together. What is the key to uniting people? You must believe that the people must be kept together. If you have a “you can go to hell if you want to” attitude, many people are going to drop out of your team.
Moses Kept People Together
Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, was a place for cattle; Wherefore, said they, If we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, If ye will go armed before the Lord to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, …this land shall be your possession before the Lord.
Moses came across a delicate situation. Some of the tribes of Israel did not want to cross the River Jordan. They wanted to stay where the grass was good for their cattle, meanwhile, there was a war to fight. They had been together up until this time and the nation Israel was about to split up into two parts. God gave Moses the wisdom to keep Israel united.
Moses could have cursed those tribes and could have told them to go to hell. He could have told them that they were damned. But he made it possible for them to have their dreamland and at the same time remain a part of Israel.
2. Love all the people God gives you.
Another key is to cherish and love people genuinely. When you love somebody genuinely, you do not easily want to part with the person. A leader must have real love for people. People will stay where they feel they are genuinely loved. Even if there is a reason for your followers to separate, your love for all the groups will make them stay together.
3. Use the wisdom of God to handle delicate situations.
Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
1 Kings 3:16-28
King Solomon faced a delicate situation. Whose side was he on? Many times, people want to say that the leader supports this person or the other. In marriage counseling sessions, I have often been accused of being on either the side of the wives or the husbands. People want to say that you are on this side or the other. It takes the wisdom of God to handle delicate situations. Marriage is a delicate thing. Handle marital crises carefully and the couples in your church will stay together. A true leader is going to have his ability to handle delicate situations tested. If you fail, your people will not stay together.
4. Bring peace between people.
Most of the leaders of this world are engaged in settling conflicts. The reality is that human beings have so many conflicts and wars between each other that there is constantly no peace. Anyone who is a leader will need to learn the art of peace-making.
Follow peace will all men…
Have you not noticed that many presidents wish to be the ones who bring peace between warring factions? Successive American presidents have longed to be the ones to bring peace to the Middle East. They take famous photographs standing between sworn enemies. These pictures are important to them as they testify about their ability to lead. Anyone who is able to bring peace to this world has leadership abilities.
Are you a leader? Do you help to bring peace between enemies? Do you fuel hatred and strife? A leader does not bring more confusion; he brings peace.
5. Be at peace with others.
Some people are constantly at war. They pick quarrels with almost anyone they interact with. I know some pastors’ wives who have driven away many people from their husbands’ churches. You cannot lead people with whom you constantly fight. You may be wondering why nobody is following you. How can people follow someone who keeps stabbing them in the back? Would you follow someone who turns around every few minutes and throws a stone at you? Certainly not!
Do you desire to be a leader? Then develop the art of being at peace with those around you. Do not constantly threaten them. Do not frighten them with curses.
I was once invited to visit with a man of God. I did not want to go. I had seen that man curse people many times. I thought to myself, “Perhaps he will curse me today.” I did not want to be around a man who effortlessly threw curses around.
The art of leadership is the art of being at peace with those around you. Do not be disturbed by other people’s successes. Do not fight them because they have something you do not have. Be content with such things as you have. Accept other people’s success and do not fight them.
What is the key to being at peace with others? Accept them as they are. Do not try to change everyone around you. We are only human and we have our mistakes.