The truth is that the Lord’s work is humble caring. Paul (says), “Do nothing from selfishness for conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.” The “humility” that Paul refers to here is not a groveling concession that everyone else is more gifted, more beautiful, and more worthwhile than you are. It refers to status. The servants in God’s household treat everyone else as if they had a higher status in the kingdom. A servant takes care of others first, then himself. The essence of servanthood is to live out your life for someone else. That’s the kind of life Jesus led, and that’s the kind of life we are called to as believers. This is what authentic ministry is – caring and loving others. John Wimber
Our Theme: ON UNITY.
u·ni·ty a noun. the state of being united or joined as a whole.
Unity is a word we like to use a lot in church life, but sadly, it is not something that occurs often.
It’s very common in the DNA of each of us to find our unique place in the world, establishing ourselves as independent, self-sufficient men or women. In the process, humankind has this uncanny way of separating ourselves from others, keeping our day-to-day existence at a distance from the rest of the human race. And while psychologists will tell us that it’s important for each of us to have our unique identity, that same drive to become people unto ourselves can also serve to push us away from the shared benefits found from living in close contact with others.
I find it interesting that in the Bible, we see God speaking this truth to us in the very first chapters of the Bible, telling us that it’s not good for a man (or woman) to be alone. Yet, over the centuries, since Jesus of Nazareth set up his church, we’ve now become one of the most divided (and divisive?) organizations known to man!
According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (year 2001 version), global Christianity has 33,820 denominations. A more recent report from another reliable source suggests that there are now at least 41,000 different sects of Christianity across the planet. Yikes.
This information reminds me of the old joke:
There was a man who was stranded on a desert island for many, many years. One day, while strolling along the beach, he spotted a ship in the distance. This had never happened in all the time he was on the island, so he was very excited about the chance of being rescued. Immediately, he built a fire on the beach and generated as much smoke as possible. It worked! Soon, the ship was heading his way. When the ship was close enough to the island, a dinghy was dispatched to investigate the situation. The man on the island was overjoyed with the chance to be rescued and met his saviors as they landed.
After some preliminary conversation the man in charge asked the man on the island how he had survived for so many years. The man replied by telling of his exploits for food and how he was able to make a fine house to live in. In fact, the man said, “You can see my home from here. It’s up there on the ridge.” He pointed the men in the direction of his home. They looked up and saw three buildings. They inquired about the building next to the man’s house and he replied, “ That’s my church – I go there to worship on Sundays.”
When asked about the third building, the man replied, “That’s where I used to go to church!”
So what can be done to counter this splintered approach to our shared Christian faith? As I see it, it goes back to what Wimber talks about in the quote above, “The truth is that the Lord’s work is humble caring.”
Christ-centered Christianity just can’t be lived out by ourselves. A true Christian is a caring person, always looking to serve the needs of others around us. As a result, true Christianity is meant to be lived out in “community.” For heaven’s sake, even the word itself (community) speaks of common-unity.
Guess it’s time for a generation of Jesus followers to stop the madness. Rather than shooting for a new high in different denominations (anybody want to go for 42,000?), how about if we go back to working on humble caring and simple servanthood toward one another. Anybody wanna play?
Lord Jesus, I’m saddened at the way we’ve behaved over the last 2,000 years. We’ve taken your call for oneness in Christ and divided ourselves now into 41,000 different sects. And then we wonder why the rest of the world isn’t running to our doorsteps looking for the “unity” we claim we have. It’s time to change, Lord. Holy Spirit, come. Heal our wounds and bring us “common-unity.” For your name’s sake. Amen!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO PONDER
- What am I doing to repair the breach in the church of Jesus Christ?
- Am I looking for creative ways to unify the church through acts of compassion and humble service or am I just another instrument that serves to further divide the body of Christ from within?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Wisdom of Wimber?
Between Easter 2016 and the end of August, we are sharing with you a blog series we call The Wisdom of Wimber: As I See It. In order to keep all 64 blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Wisdom of Wimber page for ease of use. Might we also suggest that you order a copy or two of our book by the same title! It’s available in both paperback and e-book formats…and will soon be available in Spanish! Click here for more info. ENJOY!
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