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  • Writer's picturedonallsman

Unity over Power (March 31, 2024)

Happy Easter to you friends!  He is Risen!


In the 2000 years since Jesus left us the job of making disciples among every ethnic group, there have been hundreds of attempts to work together to complete the task. In fact, in 1988 a book was written that documented 788 organized efforts* that ended up falling apart, each of which for one reason: people couldn’t get along!


Sadly, we still see this today.  In one city, I heard stories about people squabbling over which “disciple” belonged to whom. I see Christian ministries competing with each other for donor dollars and spending inordinate amounts of money for professional fund raisers and organizational branding.  I see efforts to gain power and influence through media and politics and divisive posts on social media.


In some ways the root of our problem today, and throughout history, is that we think we can win the world for Christ through power, rather than through unity.  See in John 17:23, Jesus said the way the world would turn its attention to Him was through the unity we demonstrate as His Church.  But instead of putting energy into unity, people organized Crusades and Inquisitions or employed worldly tactics like marketing campaigns or business techniques.


However, I recently experienced a refreshing event of 15 people gathered to seek unity over power, made up of Asians, Latinos, Black, White, and Native American missions leaders, exploring how we might work together for the Great Commission.


Our friend and colleague Adrian Reeves was there and he shared how we need to do better Moving As a Unit from Deut. 3:18-20. He noted how the people of Israel needed to move as a unit in taking the Promised Land, that the job wasn’t done until all the tribes were moving as a unit.


I am encouraged to find more and more people who are yearning to do the work via unity rather than through power. And I am inviting you, in your situation in life, to put more energy into finding unity for the sake of the gospel rather than trying to win arguments, win elections, or chase after wealth. 


Imagine what we could do together for the Kingdom if we gave up power and invested in unity?


*Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World, Dave Barrett and James Reapsome, Foreign Mission Board of Southern Baptist Convention, 1988.

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