This past week I spent a few hours in Lakewood at the Bear Valley Church. They hosted a new Denver church planting network called “Breakthrough Leaders.” The question is this: how can we work together to impact our region for Christ? It’s an important question because one church or one denomination cannot reach everybody.
Church history, including the modern chapters, has been plagued by a turf mentality. We see our friends and neighbors as fish within our fishing pond — and no one else should fish there. It doesn’t matter that most churches aren’t catching many fish.
A better analogy might be to see our friends and neighbors as prisoners in a spiritual war. Does it matter who sets the captive free?
Is it acceptable to allow people to remain captives?
I sat next to Reg Cox, the minister of the Lakewood Church of Christ. I grew up in the Churches of Christ and am indebted to them for much of my spiritual formation. Yet, the sectarian parts of the Church of Christ (and they are present as well in Baptists and Methodists) refused to move outside their walls to collaborate with other Christians. Large numbers of people — prisoners of war — went unreached because we couldn’t reach them by ourselves.
I’m at an age now where I refuse to allow sectarian boundaries to restrain the spread of the Gospel. Jesus prayed for unity in John 17 because he knew it would be a powerful witness to an unbelieving world.
You can be a piece-maker or a peace maker — but you can’t be both. Which will you be?