A church in Southeast Texas hosted an Orality Training Workshop with about 30, mostly senior members. It was an amazing experience to see the barriers come down and more intimate relationships grow throughout the day. Throughout the training participants shared their experiences and spiritual journeys. There were many tears of joy as they discovered how much they didn’t know about their friends they had attended church services with for many years. They shared about how they had endured many storms of life, about their experience of the new birth, how they had encountered the Living Water of Jesus, and many other experiences and insights. Prior to that day, they had never shared on that level of intimacy. The stories in the training set the stage for new and better relationships and greater unity.
Why, vs How and What
From reports, we are hearing from around the world, God’s people are beginning to put 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 and meet needs. This is nothing new, and hopefully can be used for increased unity and greater impact for 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?” Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, terrorists attacks and other disasters tend to bring people to gather for greater unity. Racial, ethnic, tribal and denominational difference seem to fade away during those times. Hard times often bring out the best in people. Many have been praying for reconciliation and unity in the Body of Christ for decades. Maybe the Lord is using this global pandemic and other conflict and crises in answering those prayers.
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?
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.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service