Tony Evans has some transformative insights from the Word in relation to the church. For instance, when Simon (pebble) is given a new name, Peter (stone), Jesus then states that he will build His church upon “this rock.” Through careful exegesis, Evans is convinced that, because the Greek work petra (rock) means many stones cemented/pressed together, this is about the disciples functioning in unity in order to build His church. It stresses unity and obliterates independence and isolation.
How easy it is, especially in a fellowship of churches to function like stones all independent of one another. Yet, in Converge Worldwide, we are many “stones” meant to form one formidable unmovable rock. Even though many, we are meant to be one. And if the truth of this passage captures us, we will look for ways to cease our independence and forge forward in oneness. We will never have the full blessing of God until we live and minister in true unity in His Spirit.
What does it mean to have oneness? Unity is characterized most by all of us being one in passion and purpose. It means that we are ALL in agreement about what we want God to do with us — what we’re really here for. Our ministries should never be just about you or your church. It cannot be about your likes, dislikes, preferences, or philosophical orientation. Our ministries MUST be about God’s two great commands: (1) Love God by loving people (2) make disciples of all nations. Nothing else. Are you about that?
This affects our global efforts big-time. What would happen if our Converge missionaries were given preference by our Converge churches rather than simply being another equal choice among 200 other mission organizations? Yes–we need to earn your trust and partnership, but we shouldn’t be an equal among other options. This is about coming together to be one in Spirit and one in mission.
How I long for oneness. God does even more. Jesus prayed, “that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me,” John 17:21. Do you see how intricately unity is tied to success in reaching the world with the truth? Oneness is essential in order “that the world may believe” that Jesus is the Christ!