” Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,
being of one accord, of one mind,”
I don’t think there was any doubt in the mind of the Philippian church members that Paul loved them. He had been imprisoned in Philippi and those believers prayed for him. They witnessed a miraculous delivery from that jail (Acts 16:16-40). Paul visited Philippi twice before his imprisonment in Rome. It is also interesting to note that of the seven churches mentioned in John’s Revelation, the church at Philippi is the only one that is not rebuked. It was a growing, active, loving church, and Paul loved them very much.
So he asks them to fulfil his joy – to me just another way of saying Hey guys, make me happy here. You love the brethren the same way that I do! Be likeminded with me. Have the same love for the church I have. Be of one accord and one mind. Strive for a common goal.
I think this is the cry of many a pastor today. My little country church is going through a pastoral change right now. We are a very small church and the money is very tight. Some think we ought to close the doors, while others are still hanging onto the vision of the original founders 40 years ago (yes we still have some of the original members here). The pastor who is leaving is very much beloved, and serving his second stint as pastor. He will be missed dearly, along with his wonderful wife. It’s a time of big change.
It will be so important going through this time that we be likeminded and of one accord. I know the selection committee will be listening to the vision of any pastor who might want to come to our church. It will be critical that the church get behind that vision – likeminded! And we will have to put the effort in to make it happen. To me, the Pastor is the leader and motivator, and the people of the church have to make it happen. Too many times, we just leave it up to the pastor to make it happen. That is a recipe for failure.
I pray that our church, and every church, will get behind their Pastor and carry out the vision they have. The Philippian church is a great example of a church that took the instruction of Paul and put it into practice, building a loving, welcoming church that just kept growing.
I need to learn to put my own desires aside and take on the vision of my pastor and leaders, Lord. Help me to open my heart to what our new pastor sees our churches potential and the best way to achieve it. Then give me the drive and desire to stand alongside him, likeminded, and of one accord, so that the vision can be realized.