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From reports, we are hearing from around the world, God’s people are putting aside minor or secondary differences for the greater purposes of God. They are finding common ground for more unity and unified efforts to solve problems. This is nothing new, and hopefully can be used for greater impact in advancing the Kingdom of God. There seem to be more questions than answers these days. There is a tendency to ask “Why” questions, when it might be more productive to ask “How, and What” questions. When crises come, maybe we should ask “How should I respond, and what can I do?”
Lessons from the Life, Spirit, and Teaching of Jesus
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for some crisis to experience more unity in the Body of Christ. From what we learn about the life, Spirit and teachings of Jesus, we know that oneness and unity in the Body of Christ is very important. The 17th chapter of the Gospel of John makes that abundantly clear. However, in a practical way, how do we achieve unity? How can the Church (the Body of Christ) be unified when there is so much diversity and division among the various streams and traditions of the Church? How can there be unity and cooperation among an association of churches? Or, how can local congregations (house churches, small fellowships, church plants) achieve unity?
The Spirit of Reconciliation
Perhaps an even more important question would be “How can any group, community, organization, or even a family have unity?” Well, it seems that effective communication and trusting relationships would be the most basic building blocks to oneness and unity, anywhere with any group of people. Obviously, from a biblical perspective, the Spirit of reconciliation (which is the Spirit of Jesus) is the basis of resolving conflict and division, leading to genuine unity.
The Power of Stories, Questions, and Listening
Pastors in East Africa discovered that they had more in common than the things that divided them. What was the key to this important discovery? It was their participation in an Orality Training Workshop sponsored by Living Water International. Pastors and church leaders are discovering how telling stories, asking questions, listening and engaging in heart level conversations can help resolve conflict, remove barriers and build bridges. Individual members of local congregations and communities are experiencing greater unity and connectivity by participating in Orality Training events.
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SOURCE: Assist News, Jerry Wiles