This September, each Monday I will write about the topic of unity. I hope to help bring clarity to what it actually means to be united in campus ministry. There are many misconceptions about unity, and there are even harmful ways of pursuing unity. I hope these four posts can help students and campus ministers move toward unity in a Biblical, practical way.
Last week I wrote about how division effects the spiritual climate of our campus by looking at some scriptures in I Corinthians. This week I will write about how unity affects the spiritual climate by looking at some scriptures in John, II Chronicles, and I Corinthians. These thoughts are developed much further in my upcoming book, Campus Renewal – A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission.
Unity Is a Testimony – John 17:23
Near the end of Jesus life on earth, He prayed for the church. He prayed, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus knew that Christian unity is an apologetic (defense) of the faith. The world is meant to look upon a diverse but unified Body of Christ and see the hand of God. Our unity is a testimony of God’s grace in and of itself, meant to reveal the gospel. Only a people deeply aware of God’s grace can humbly walk in unity with one another.
Humility Invites God’s Presence – II Chron. 7:14 & Phil. 2
God said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Humility is one of four conditions that needs to be met before God brings revival. In Philippians 2, Paul describes humility as “considering others better than yourself… not looking to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When the Body of Christ walks in this type of humility, honoring other above themselves, the conditions for revival are met.
Unity Makes the Body more Effective – I Corinthians 12
We need one another. I Corinthians 12 makes that abundantly clear. We are one Body, with many parts. No part cannot say, “I am not needed.” Nor can any part say, “I do not need others.” We are needed, and we need every one. To reach the whole campus, we need every spiritual gift, every ministry philosophy, and every strategy. When the parts of the body work in unity, we maximize our impact. I still remember how Jackson Senyonga, a pastor in Uganda who has witness the transformation of his city, defined unity to campus ministers at the University of Texas. He said, “Unity is God’s revelation of your need for one another.” If we want to reach the whole campus, we need work with one another.