Healthy Churches Live Out Unity. In 1980, the U.S. hockey team defeated the seemingly unbeatable team from the USSR in an Olympic semifinal before they went on to win the gold medal. It’s considered one of the greatest moments in sports history. A team of handpicked, uniquely talented, amateur players came together as an effective, unified team. But it was not their individual talent that made them effective—it was their ability to combine talent as a team and bring them together for one purpose.
A healthy church looks like that 1980 U.S. hockey team. It accomplishes infinitely more with others than it does alone. It plays its part with passion and excellence while recognizing its need for the broader Church to fulfill Christ’s mission. It’s known for what it’s for, not what it’s against. It’s surrounded by other churches passionate about working together and doing more. It’s full of individual members who live out their role and do extraordinary things for God.
Many times the word “unity” evokes images of churches that look, act, and talk exactly the same, but that’s not an accurate picture. We mistake uniformity for unity. True unity is each church fulfilling its unique role with one common purpose, just like the many different parts of your body working together. This unity is incredibly powerful, beautiful, and significant.
Jesus was passionate about the unity of believers. He prayed over us that we would live it out because He knew the incredible results that would follow.
What happens to churches that live out unity?
John 17:20-21 KJV
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Acts 2:44-47 KJV
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Psalms 133:1-3 KJV
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: