Church unity is not a choice, we must implement it


Many years ago, I heard Bishop Wellington Boone share a really powerful life principle, “What you will not do by revelation, you will do by tribulation!”.This is most probably a timely warning to the church (metro-wide) and her leaders.The Lord has been continually speaking to leaders about church unity in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.Church unity does not mean us giving up our individual identities, but various leaders and members of the church actively and visibly loving each other, and working together for the good of our metro.If we do not heed the “revelation” of church unity as Christ prayed for in John 17, tribulation will knock on our doors and force us to seek out each other for prayer and support!Let’s not wait until tribulation hits our own backyards before we listen.There are two recordings in Scripture where Jesus wept.This was first where he wept at the death of his close friend, Lazarus (John 11:35).The second time was when he wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-46).As church leaders, do we weep over our metro/city like Jesus wept over Jerusalem?If we really did, would the city be in the state it is in today or is the metro not part of our priority as leaders?Is it possible that we have made the programmes of our local church more important than the needs of the metro?Should the programmes of the church not be directed towards influencing and possibly meeting the needs of the metro?Should our churches not be a training ground for the battle ground?Put another way, is your church and are your leaders relevant in the metro?My belief is that everything rises and falls on leadership!Show me a local church leader who weeps over our metro and I will show you a local church that’s active in our metro!Maybe it’s time that church leaders realign their commitment to fit in with their local church… and the metro!I think that this is the crux of the matter… most of the crises in our metro could have been averted if we had strong commitment to church unity from most of our church leaders.A unified church will always prevail (Matthew 16:18).Jesus spoke about “church” three times and the “kingdom” hundreds of times.The core of the Gospel is kingdom (outside), not church (inside).In Luke 19:42-44, Jesus weeps over the city but also warns the city about impending trouble if it is not spiritually aware of when God sends intervention.Forgive me if I sound very dramatic, but I believe that about two weeks ago the Lord sent that intervention to our metro.I was fortunate enough to attend a pastor’s conference where a pastor from Juarez, Mexico was the guest speaker.In a nutshell, he shared about how violence, murder, crime, drugs, corruption and gangs had overrun his city, and how God through the church had healed and rescued the city.Sound familiar? Immediately, I realised my need to repent for the division and apathy in the church when it comes to the metro.It was clear to me that I was not doing enough to build unity among the pastors in my area, and I was not doing enough to love and care for the community surrounding the church I lead.To tell you the truth, I was so convicted that on the Tuesday morning of the first session of the conference, I immediately asked that all our church meetings be cancelled and that all our leaders attend the conference.For me it was not important which pastor or church was hosting the conference.What was important was being there and receiving a direct challenge from the Lord to actively care for the metro!There are many Scriptural directives that require of us as leaders to seek the peace of our city (Jeremiah 29:7).In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we are called to pray as a unified church and the city will be healed.John 13:35 encourages us that genuine love in the church must be visible to outsiders.Acts 2:44-47 describes how the early church was unified and how that unity was practically experienced.Just by the church caring and loving each other.No evangelism crusades or meetings.Only love and care. Many were saved and added daily to the church numbers through this visible testimony of unity and love in action (v 47).In other words, just because of the genuine example of love and care between local churches and their members, the surrounding communities wanted to be like the church and not the other way around.Is this not what we should be building and encouraging in our churches?If you as a church leaders are really serious about the Lord using you to heal our metro, then I conclude by challenging you to go please to the YouTube channel of the Word of Faith Christian Centre and listen to all the sessions presented by Pastor Poncho Murguia on June 4 and 5.May you be inspired to not only weep over our beautiful metro, but also to actively form part of the healing process of the metro.● Pastor Russell Viljoen is from the Ebenezer North Church.

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