B and K are in the East Asia. This is the 2nd year for both leading their team. They have been very encouraged lately because four of their key leaders went to a regional conference a little over a month ago and came back with a passion and understanding of the vision to launch movements everywhere. B writes, “One of the most significant things that these students have come to understand is the importance of coming together as a community of believers in Christ. (They) began to realize God’s heart is for His children to be united as a body. This is an answer to our prayers!”
For the year and half, B and K have been there, their efforts to build community have not been as fruitful as they have hoped. Most of their ministry comprises of appointments with individual students. B writes again, “In order to see ‘every student know some one who truly follows Christ’ and to ‘turn lost students into Christ-centered lifetime laborers and leaders,’ we believe that the fellowship of Christian students is essential! We have yet to see this community develop, but we are continuing to trust the Lord that He will build a body of Christian believers on our campus.”
It is this oneness, this togetherness, this community, this koinea was the focal point of Jesus’ highly priestly prayer the night before he went to the cross. Jesus asked the Father to protect His remaining 11 disciples from the evil one so that they would be ONE. Then He prays for those who would believe in Him through their message that we are would all be ONE.
Jesus is not praying that we would show up to a weekly meeting, a covered dish supper or a country two-step social. Who uses 'social' except old ladies in a quilting circle and Crusade? It’s not that these things are wrong, though clearly ‘White Christian America’ and one reason we need to learn a new world.
Our Lord was praying for something far greater than dinner on the grounds. Our oneness, our unity, our living in community lets the world know that He came to declare the Father’s love and usher this eternal life of knowing the Only True God and His Son who He sent. It is for this reason the evil one wants to do everything he can to create divisiveness, isolation and a pseudo unity of side hugs, fist bumps and air kisses. Division and Isolation strikes at the core of everything God is about. He is ONE and not alone. We, His offspring, were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. We are to be ONE!
This drama, this God-life, this full measure of His joy, this revelation of His glory is played out in a community of believers with whom we live and labor. But as you know difficulties arise. Sooner or later those of us who follow Jesus find ourselves in the company of men and women that while in the same body, we are not sure that we really like. Does that sound like your team? Division erupts as we venture down paths that separate us – personalities, problems, preferences, perspectives on predestination, paper or plastic, et.al. The battle wages to become ONE and remain ONE.
My pastor spoke on John 17 this past Sunday. (I also had studied it a few weeks ago so I am not totally stealing from him.) One thing that struck me was when Pastor Gene asked us how many Christians were in the world and how many churches in Boulder. A variety of guesses were tossed out. But the answer Gene said was ‘ONE’. We are to be ONE.
What if someone asked us: “How many people are on your team?” or “How many students are involved in your movements?” or “How many STINT teams are there?” or “How many movements are you trusting God to launch in your city/country?” And the answer we gave for every question was “ONE.”
We are ONE and we are believing God for ONE.