How to Find Unity Without Losing Identity -Part 1
How to Find Unity Without Losing Identity
It is Going to Happen
We are going to unite! I am convinced that the modern church is going through another great reformation, and we are going to see a unity within the Body of Christ that we’ve been missing for centuries. In order for us to become this Exceedingly Great Army, we must learn how to find unity without losing identity.
But We’re Different
As I walked into church this past Sunday, I heard the unmistakable sound of passionate black gospel music. Unfortunately, I don’t know her name, but she was an outstanding singer and worship leader.
Few things in the body of Christ have the power to unite us like sincere worship.I watched as she passionately worshiped, hair flying around in a way that would make a metal band proud. In between lines, she was breathing like Bishop Jakes suffering from an asthma attack, and I’m pretty sure that if screaming the word, ‘Yes’ was an Olympic event, she would hold the record for years to come.
She was truly amazing, but to be entirely honest, I really wasn’t my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize talent and sincere worship when I see it for the most part, but I grew up in a small rural community in Iowa with a total of zero churches specializing in black gospel.
I’ve come to appreciate it, and there is part of me that is honestly a little envious of those who can skillfully harness its power – a lot like I’m envious of people who can ride a bull without breaking bones and losing limbs.
As I looked around the auditorium however, I saw an awesome diversity of the Body of Christ worshiping their Savior in unity. Some of us were struggling a little more than others, but the point wasn’t that it was our particular flavor of worship this week. Few things in the body of Christ have the power to unite us like sincere worship.
I Still Can’t Sing
Again and again, I hear the argument that we can’t come together with other churches in our communities because we are different. We do church different, we sing different songs, and we believe different things. They are this, and we are that.
When you separate from other believers, you exclude yourself from the unique message God is communicating through them.As someone who is passionate about teaching and doctrine, I’m not minimizing our individual beliefs regarding our Faith, but these divisions have become absurd and are entirely ungodly! 1 John 4:15 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”When you separate from other believers, you exclude yourself from the unique message God is communicating through them. When you come together, you don’t lose your identity. You enhance it .
If we believe God’s word, then we also have to acknowledge that God is living in and through at least some of those people out there who I disagree with. When you separate from other believers, you exclude yourself from the unique message God is communicating through them. When you come together, you don’t lose your identity, you find it, and you help others to find theirs in the process.
The Beginnings of Unity
We don’t have to agree about everything or do everything the same way, but at least occasionally, we should be able to unite with the common belief in Jesus Christ and impact our community.
In Part 2, I’m going to give some extremely practical tips for encouraging unity. Until then, I’d like to ask you a question. Would you be willing to sacrifice the superficial elements of your version of ‘church’ if it meant that the body of Christ would be more effective in reaching the world?
What would happen if all of the believers within a community united in common cause? I believe it’s possible, and this series of posts is created with that intention. It’s time.