Summary: The first step to unity is Christ--allowing His life to be lived out in us.

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Philippians 2:1-11

“The Attitude Of Christ”

By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

When Jeanne and I found out that I had been appointed to serve here at Parkview United Methodist Church

we were so excited that we would be serving a church that had an excellent view of a park.

Because we really love parks.

We’ve got a cute little dog that would just love to take walks in that park and a young boy who would

have a nice place to play.

We are still very excited to be serving at Parkview United Methodist Church....

But where in the world is the park?

That aside, churches....from the very beginning have been named after the places where they are located.

For example, as a young boy...and then as an older boy I was a member of The United Methodist Church of

Fayetteville in Fayetteville, New York.

Just a few miles away in the town next door is another United Methodist Church.

This Church is located in Manlius, New York and is named The Manlius United Methodist Church.

In the same way, the church that Paul was writing to in our Scripture lesson for this morning was referred to

as the Church at Philippi, because Philippi was the place where this particular church of Jesus Christ was


And the Philippian church was a strong church--a very strong church.

And when a church is strong it is always full of vision and planning.

It is always working out a strategy to proclaim the gospel in the most effective way.

A strong church is never complacent, and because of this, there is always the danger of differences of


differences in vision, desires, concern, emphasis, and interest.

And in many ways, Parkview United Methodist Church falls under this dangerous category because we are

a strong church!

When, unfortunately, the majority of churches are losing members and becoming smaller...

We are actually gaining members and becoming more powerful!

And this is a good thing....praise the Lord..all glory and honor to Him...this is a very good thing....

Last week, my family and I went to see the new Spider-man movie, and it was actually pretty good.

In it, the young man who becomes Spider-man is given a very good piece of advice from a loving relative.....

And I must give credit where credit is due....

I could not recall the exact words that this person used in giving advice to Spider-man, so I called up

Jon-Michael Akers--who I had known had seen the movie--and Jon Michael came through with the exact quote.

The qoute is: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

And Spider-man took this to heart.

And so should we...

Because when a church is strong and growing there are always different ideas as to which ministry or

project should be supported and undertaken.

And this is a great responsibility!!!

The point I’m trying to make is this: the more strength and activity a church has, the more attention it

must give to unity.

And why is this?

Because a strong church has more minds and bodies working, and where more people are working more

differences are bound to arise.

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