(Note: This was written 3 years ago by I feel my words are just as true today!)
Unity must come from the front. I am not talking about the front pew or the front row of people who have been holding down their seats since 1955.
Unity must be preached from the pulpit.
Ah ha! A light bulb flashed in your cranium. You are ready to jump out of your seat right at this very moment. Yes, we may teach and preach on unity in our churches; however, is this just a local church unity ordeal (MY church) or are we stretching our arms out to other churches (the Church)?
Again…….unity must be preached from the pulpit. Unity is much bigger than cooperating with other churches within our denomination. It will take great humility, love, grace, and acceptance in order for unity to occur between various Christian communities.
The pastor/priest/preacher sets the tone for their respective local churches. If they teach their flock the importance of embracing other Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ, the lifestyle of unity will flow freely through the congregation. If the congregation is taught that other Christian denominations are inferior to their church, the congregation will develop an elitist mindset.
John 17 20″My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24″Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25″Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Christ called us to be One. He is the Lead Shepherd (Psalm 23). All other shepherds (ministers) are to model Christ. If you are a pastor, what do you model to your congregation in regards to your attitude about other churches? If you are a church attendee, does your pastor or elders reflect an attitude of Christian unity?
Some of you reading this are thinking…”well we never partner with other churches or reach out to churches who need spiritual or financial help. I do not know what to do or where to begin. My pastor does not like those Catholics or Methodists.”
News flash. Doctrine differences between churches will always exist. We must ask ourselves…….Are we united as Godly brothers and sisters AND what is our agenda? Agenda = Walking with God as an individual and as a community. We must seek often God’s agenda.
It starts with one. One person. That person could be YOU. Approach your pastor or leadership and see where they stand on the idea of Christian unity. After all, if you attending a church, you want to know what your particular church REALLY believes about the Body of Christ. You are not attempting to start a revolution here. You just want to know the essentials……..such as…………does your church preach unity within Christianity and if so then how is this lived out in your faith community.