We’ve already established that Christ-like boards and committees demonstrate the kind of team-orientation and servanthood described in Philippians 2 that comes from “striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” as we “stand firm in the one Spirit” (Phil. 1:27) no matter what kind of struggles we face.
The Apostle Paul continues, “Therefore if … then” (Phil. 2:1-4).
We’ll experience such unity and selflessness if we function based on the realities of who we are in Christ, His love, our fellowship in the Spirit, and a movement in our hearts toward one another (Phil. 2:1). Each “if” deserves attention but in this post we’ll look only at how our “common sharing (fellowship) in the Spirit” affects the way we function.
All Board and Committee Members Share the Same Power Source, The Holy Spirit
When Philippians 1:27 refers to the Holy Spirit as “the one Spirit”, there must be some kind of significance to it. Why not just say “the Spirit”? Certainly we can look at it as the one and only Spirit. The one Spirit in you and me is the same. Consequently, the way of the Spirit in you will not be in conflict with the Spirit in me. If we can’t come to agreement, or find reconciliation, then we need to step back and pray some more until we both get on page with the Spirit.
Further, “one Spirit” might suggest that we all have the same power source — the same Helper, the same Counselor. Consequently, no one of us has an upper hand or personal edge on God. As leaders, or the chairperson, we shouldn’t demand that our way is always right. We need to trust the Spirit to teach all of us and bring us together on the same page.
All Boards, Committees and Ministry Teams Have the Same Potential for Unity, the Spirit
We see another dimension to the role of the Spirit for our boards, committees, and ministry teams when we read, “if any common sharing in the Spirit … then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Phil. 2:1-2). The Greek word, koinonia, also translated as fellowship, speaks of what we share in common that brings us together in unity.
If we’re not in fellowship with the Spirit, our likelihood of being in fellowship with one another diminishes. As we walk in the Spirit, however, we will “not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16) which war against unity with others. Rather, we will exercise the fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23) — qualities that make unity possible.
In the Spirit, All Boards, Committees and Ministry Teams Have the Same Potential for Christ-like Reactions
To be sure, personalities will clash, philosophies will collide, and opinions will differ on our boards and committees made up of a diverse group of people. We need to “stand firm in the one Spirit” (Phil. 1:27) so we don’t let tempers flare and disagreements divide. We need to find our fellowship in the Spirit, not based on how much we like each other or agree.
As we yield to the Spirit, we will find ourselves more and more “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” regardless of personal opinions. We will do less and less “out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” but “rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phil. 2:2-4). The Holy Spirit provides the power to rise above our human tendencies so we respond to one another with Christ-like humility, there to serve rather than be served.