2 minute Unity. 25 Minute Unity

christian-unityUnity between churches is challenging and time consuming but is also at the center of Jesus’ prayer in John 17.

As a general rule of thumb, if Jesus prayed for it, we want to be part of it.  Collaboration between churches is exciting and powerful, but if you’re not there yet, here are two easy-peasy steps any pastor can take toward true unity with other churches.

2 minute unity: Take 2 minutes in your church service to pray for other churches in your city by name.  We’ve been doing this for a few years now.  We invite people to pray for a local church they know and we offer a few suggestions if they don’t know of churches.   We pray for the mega church down the road, the smaller recovery church downtown and the lutheran church near us, among others.  Most of all, we mean it.  We sincerely pray for their blessing and well being.

25 Minute Unity:  Meet with other pastors and pray for each other, for each other’s churches, for each other’s people.  Because we’re wild and crazy, we pray once a month, 6:30am on Sunday mornings, but you might choose a less biblical more convenient time :)  As pastors, we pray and worship together on a Sunday before going separately to pray and worship in our churches.

Aside from moving toward true unity, there are many fringe benefits:

– These prayers gently remind our people that other churches are never our competition, but are our brothers and sisters.  Paul makes it clear in Ephesians who our competition really is.

– Allows us to bless people who leave our church for another.  Knowing other pastors in the area, I can recommend many other churches if we’re not a fit.

– conversely, if people come to us from another church, they can sometimes offer us a backhanded compliment by criticizing the church or pastor they came from.  I am less apt to receive that if I’ve been praying with their pastor and praying for their church by name during our worship gatherings.  (of course, we receive people with genuine concerns or wounds from a previous experience and we’re sensitive to that.  This isn’t one size fits all.)

– Puts a small dent in the overwhelming tide of church consumerism.  We’re on mission together, we’re not here to first meet your worship and teaching style preference.

– It reminds us that God works way beyond our little piece of the Kingdom.

– and of course, its a prayer that God loves to answer.  We have strong unity in our city, cross denominational and cross style and many leaders are friends and co-laborers.

Thoughts?  What practices can you share that encourage unity?

About these ads

3 thoughts on “2 minute Unity. 25 Minute Unity

  1. Pingback: Weekly Meanderings, 30 November 2013

  2. Great suggestions. Thanks for sharing! The unity of the church is something I care strongly about, but it’s often easier to approach the issue conceptually/theologically than practically.

  3. Thx. I too long for unity, but I have an opinion about attaining it that I hope will not be taken the wrong way and summarily dismissed. That is, in addition to prayer and interaction, I have personally concluded that true unity can only come through true repentance. And here is the catch from my standpoint: this repentance at least involves the West, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, repenting from heresy and schism and returning to the true church – the one holy catholic and apostolic church (known today as Eastern Orthodoxy). Beyond that, God knows, there is room for repentance by all of us for our lack of love and failure to be transformed into the image of Christ. This may seem an unlikely idea to many, but it can be defended by humble and patient inquiry. It is indeed a long and difficult journey, usually taken by individuals rather than entire churches. Yet all things are possible with God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s