Jesus prayed, “I in them and You in me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You did send Me, and did love them, even as You did love Me.”

John 17: 23

 

Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say about the amount of time and effort that we put into building our own churches; we focus on the distinctives that make us unique, we work on the programs that fill our calendars, the public image that we portray takes on a slick marketing quality, and our focus becomes very fine when we start to discuss the differences between other churches and us. Now, there is nothing wrong with gathering as children of God to praise, worship, and study Him; in fact, God commands us to do this; however, there is a problem with our organizational mentality when the structure of the organization and it’s importance become barriers to moving toward the entire body of Christ.

 

Jesus came into our lives in order to bring those who were far off near (Ephesians 2: 13); thus, He came to bring us together. There is strength, power, a voice, gathered knowledge, and mighty wisdom in the assembling of Christ’s body, the church. When we move together, governments topple, systems of rule disintegrate, love moves through the land, hearts are changed, and the cause of Christ is made more visible in our world. When we come together, setting aside our minor differences and concerns in order to seek out that which we hold as common and that which is the essence of our Lord’s will, we begin to demonstrate the splendor and the majesty of the promised new Jerusalem (Revelation 21), and consider this, what rational being would not want to secure a place in that city?

 

Worship style, hair style, bible translations, age, political views, minor doctrinal points (most doctrinal points once they move beyond Christ come, crucified, and risen are minor), and everything else that we hold onto that keeps us separate are of little to no real Kingdom importance. Why not take the first step toward unity? Consider who you want to get to know from another church gathering, ask your pastor if he meets with pastors of other churches regularly and if he doesn’t ask him why not and offer to help set it up and offer to pay for the meal. Look at the things that other churches are accomplishing in your community and go to them with an offer of help and support. Purposefully pray for them and with them; seek out God’s moving across your entire church community.

 

Christ is our common bond of unity; the Lord proclaims this to be so. It is up to each of us to make the decision to step out of our comfortable gathering place and group and toward other people of faith; then, we begin to move toward the perfect unity that Jesus asked the Father to grant us.