Building Unity

We have a growing team at Creekside.  With the adoption of the Lynnwood Campus, we have added some more team pastors as well as members to our congregation.  One of the most important things that we are working on is building unity in our new congregation.

We recognize that there are two different histories between the two campuses but moving forward we are embarking on a new story. This is not easy work but it is important work.

Today in our staff meeting I shared what was on my heart about unity.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says:

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Even though we are coming from different histories we have so much in common because of what Jesus has done for us.  My prayer is that our team would recognize our distinct roles that we play in the team and that we would be unified by what Jesus has done and what Jesus is going to do.

Psalm 133 also talks about this:

1 How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

When we operate in unity, we please God.  When our churches are working together we honor Jesus.  And we all can work together to accomplish the mission that Jesus has called us all to.

We know that we cannot afford to do ministry alone.  We know that we cannot do ministry for ourselves.  When we are unified around the mission of Jesus, we recognize that my gifts complement your gifts. My weaknesses are helped by your strengths.

Unity is so crucial.  We don’t have to agree on everything all the time. But we can still operate in unity when we are unified the mission of Jesus.

If you are part of Creekside Church, please be praying with us as we build unity.  And please don’t wait until someone gives you permission to practice unity.  Introduce yourself. Say hi to new people. Serve on a ministry team. Join a group with new people.

These are all things that help us to build unity.

These are all things that will help us please God.

Jesus wants our hearts

I think the biggest challenge that the church faces today is our unwillingness to give Jesus our whole hearts.

Sin and morality questions boil down to our unwillingness to submit our whole hearts to Jesus. Instead of letting Jesus do the work of transforming us by the power of the Holy Spirit we hold on to our sin because we find our identity there. That identity is tied to our hearts.  Jesus wants our hearts.

Churches struggling with leadership is a heart issue. We want what we want, not what Jesus wants.

Lack of financial support for the mission the church is called to reveals that there are people who have not given Jesus their treasure and that reveals their heart.

I cannot in good conscience read the Bible and tell people that Jesus is ok leaving them where they are if they haven’t given their whole hearts to him.  Jesus wants our hearts.

What would happen if Jesus had my whole heart?

My identity would be wrapped up in his plan for me instead of my plan for me.

My temptations would lose their power because they would not hold my heart.

I wouldn’t be so concerned with what that other church or pastor is doing, because I really only need to care what Jesus wants me to be doing.

My treasure would line up with his priorities.

My conversations would be shaped to reveal Jesus’ heart to the people in my life.