The Church of God movement that our church is a part of has long championed the cause of unity in God’s Church. But that was not anything we came up with. When you look at NT scriptures, the apostles constantly urged the churches to unity in their letters. Even Jesus prayed—just before His betrayal—“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one” (John 17:21 NLT).
If the NT church led by the apostles struggled with this unity, how much more has the church struggled through the ages as factions and splits and denominationalism has driven many Christians apart and, thus, driven many in the world away from the Church! I have been much encouraged of late, though. I have a sense that unity is gradually becoming more of a reality in the Church of our day. Technology has served to bridge gaps amongst the global church, denominations are choosing to focus on the essentials of faith rather than bickering and arguing the minutia, and worship...the newfound passion and value that has been injected into the Church’s worship over the past decade or two has been astounding.
Nothing draws unity from the church like worship does. Consider our time of singing on Sunday AM: When else is our church in complete unison? When else does the church act in complete harmony? When else do we all focus our attention so single-mindedly? Somehow, there’s something special about echoing the same words of faith as the guy sitting down the row or the gal across the aisle. It’s called unity and we need it—and in greater abundance—because it honors God and draws the world to Him (see the rest of John 17:21).