. . . Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
After spending 16 years in Birmingham encouraging unity among churches and pastors in our city, I can tell you without hesitation - unity is harder than it needs to be.
Often we fail to be "diligent" in this matter. It's not often we make every effort to maintain what the Spirit of God has already provided us - unity!
We look at unity as an option. Without saying it, we say: "I don't need to walk with you", "The effort is not worth it" - "I just don't have time" - "My church is getting it done alone".
Imagine what could be accomplished in Birmingham if every pastor and ministry leader in our city trusted each other and was committed to work together. Think of what could be accomplished of we, together, sought God in prayer. Envision a Birmingham where the collective church sought to eliminate injustice and evil in our community - together.
Henry Ford said, "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."
Would you be willing to take a small step toward unity today? Call a friend in another church and start talking about connecting your ministries. Attend a group that encourages unity. Pray for God to connect and unite pastors and ministry leaders.
Birmingham is waiting. The leadership in the metro area continuously identifies "regional cooperation" as one of the most significant needs in our area. Birmingham's Mayor, William Bell, has stated it time and time again: "United for the good of the city."
I long for the Church to take the lead in fostering and maintaining unity. Do you?