Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Unity must extend past the church walls

Here is an interesting link: Ed Stetzer interviews Jason Dukes, author of a book published last year titled Beyond My Church: Thinking and Living So That the World Might Know. Jason's book focuses on church unity and how that extends beyond one local church expression. In his interview with Ed Stetzer. he summarized at the end what church leaders can do to promote unity beyond their "own church":
Specific to pastors and church leaders, give three practical suggestions as to how they can think and live beyond their church in the next month?

• take devoted time in Sunday worship gathering to solely pray for another local church expression and their leaders and their ministries and their fruitfulness.

• allow that "put the interests of others above your own" stuff to also apply to local church expressions, and commit some time every week to working toward the encouragement and success of another local church leader and ministry.

• put aside petty differences and serve the community together in ongoing, relational ways with no one local church's name tagged on the project, but rather for the sake of "on earth as it is in heaven" in your community.
That seems so common sense but it really is unusual. I can't think of a time when I was involved in any of those three, either as a "layperson" or a "leader". Praying for another church expression? Investing time in some other ministry that you don't control or that doesn't have your name on it? That is so contrary to how we understand the church, divided up into little competing fiefdoms as we are, but so in keeping with the Biblical spirit. Quite the contrast to the heated discussion I am in with some folks regarding why "church members" shouldn't be allowed to "leave" one church for another.

Check out the interview, I might get his book as well (esp. if it becomes available on Kindle!)

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