Several years ago I worked with an organization that had every staff member sign a “Covenant of Harmony.” The idea was having everyone abide by biblical principles of resolving conflict and promoting harmony, cooperation and unity within the organization. There are many principles and instructions given in Scripture for experiencing unity. Yet, there are so few real examples of true biblical unity in churches, ministry and mission organizations.
The Key to Unity
From what we learn about the life, the teachings and Spirit 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 association or networks of churches? We can have confidence that all of Jesus’ prayers will be answered.
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.
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. Not only are pastors discovering how telling stories and asking questions and engaging in Orality Training experiences can help resolve conflict, remove barriers and build bridges. Individual members of local congregations and communities are experiencing greater unity and connectedness through participating in Orality Training events.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service