- Pray For Other Churches in Your Area
Most pastors and members of churches know the other churches (brothers) in their neighborhood. Ask the intercessors to pray for all of the churches to be relational and evangelistic. Use a small portion of time in Sunday morning service to pray publicly for one church and pastor each week. Prayer demonstrates the honoring of, the valuing of, and your interdependence with other area churches.
- Adopt a ‘National’ Church Protocol
Become aware of the other ‘tribes’ also. When one area church has had a problem, visit the pastor and let him know you’re for him. Rejoice with those churches that are doing well. Take a fellow pastor outside of your denomination or fellowship out to lunch. Learn to honor the glory of each church and pastor. Look for a way in, not a way out, of fostering church relationships.
- Become a Man of Peace . . . Not a Man of War
In Luke 10, Jesus sends out his disciples into the city with a message . . . “Peace be to this community”. He then instructs his disciples to look for the man of peace and stay in his house. Do you realize our message is peace to the community and peace to one another! David couldn’t build the temple because he was a man of war. It’s one thing to be in war, it’s another thing for war to be in you! Because of hurts, doctrinal training, searching for significance, etc., many pastors have become men of war with a strong critical, destructive attitude. This attitude moves ‘the’ church away from unity while disqualifying the pastor for building God’s way. Speak and act in ways that bring peace, especially with other pastors and churches.
- Find a Community Need and Meet It Together!
Do you realize servants can go anywhere? Recently, I’ve seen groups of pastors go to the mayor or city councilperson’s offices and ask them . . . “What is a great need in our community, and what could we churches do to help you meet that need?” There’s nothing like churches working together for the sake of the community that opens up the heart of the community to the church. The spirit of servanthood together is a cause higher than emphasis or doctrine.
- Joint Church Services Both Inside and Outside of the Church Walls.
Once a quarter, coordinate several churches meeting together for a special service of unity or mutual ministry. For example, the churches of Kamo, New Zealand hold a week of meetings together before Easter. The Cities for Christ group in West Phoenix, Arizona hold a large Easter sunrise service together. In Nowra, Australia the churches of the community hold a week long Christmas pageant in the town square. As pastors and churches get together, they begin to become aware of the amazing diversity that is in Christ’s church which can lead to unity! The real beneficiary of church unity is the community.