Thank you for giving me a minute to speak with you pastor to pastor. I know your time is valuable, and I will be as brief as I can, but I also know that when you come across a new concept, like One Body One Blood, there are things that can move through your mind, making you hesitant to get on board.
One of those would simply be conflict. We are afraid that it’s going to conflict with us theologically. We’re afraid that it’s going to conflict with our schedule. We’re also afraid of competition. If you’re like me, we struggle to have people in our church and fill our church. There’s always another place that they can go to and this may feel like that. Well, rather than conflict or competition, I’d like you to think in terms of it dovetailing with your current plans. I absolutely believe this will dovetail with your ministry and enhance what you work so hard to do.
Let me touch on just a few areas. First, let me touch on the area of teaching. You teach that the church has two aspects to it. There is the local church, where you serve as a pastor and where I serve as a pastor. The second aspect is the universal church, the church that Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
One Body One Blood will give you a living demonstration of that, and your people will grasp it very clearly if you join us. Whether you invite your church members to join us from their homes or come together corporately in your physical church building, they will be able to understand that “hey, here are the people from my church that I normally gather with, here’s my pastor, and here are people who are my brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world.” This will be a living demonstration of what it is that you teach.
This will help with your outreach. We believe God is going to move in such a significant way that people will be uplifted by the love and the grace of Jesus Christ, and we’re going to encourage them to move out in acts of service that will draw other people to the Savior.
So, as God uses your people to go out in response to this challenge, and some come to Christ and are drawn to Him, and they are looking for a place to go to church, where are they going to go? They’re going to go to the church you serve because it was your people who were out inviting them. So, this is going to enhance this whole realm of outreach.
One Body One Blood will dovetail with your church planning. I know planning is always difficult. We all have time conflicts. I, like you, have concluded that ministry is never done, because there’s always another need that demands our attention. I get this, but here’s how this can help with planning.
If you choose a standalone Good Friday service, then you can just let us plan it for you and simply invite your church. Say, “there’s something new that’s happening here, and it looks like it’s going to be very good and why don’t we participate in this together?” Then you can decide if you want to discuss it afterwards or get people’s responses to it. But you can get people together, and we’ve done all the work for you.
The other thing that you can do is just let people know about it. Let them experience it on their own, or all of you corporately, and then still have your regular service that you might feel obligated to have. This will not conflict with what you’re doing. This will dovetail with what you are planning.
Perhaps most significantly (at least to my way of thinking) is taken from John chapter 17 . In John 17, Jesus was praying for the disciples who were gathered there with Him at the Last Supper. He said this after praying for those who were around the table with Him:
“I do not pray for these alone but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” (John 17:20)
That’s you and me, pastor, and that’s the churches that we serve.
“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17: 21-23)
The Lord Jesus Christ has given to us, the believers who have come down the line, a glory that He says when we allow this glory to be demonstrated in unity, in the oneness that He and the Father have into which we have all been invited, when we allow that to happen and we enter into that glory, he says “now the world will know that you sent me, Father.”
We have a chance to glorify Jesus Christ in a way that has heretofore never happened in the history of the church. This is our opportunity to bring glory to Jesus Christ as we come together in one, and there are two simple things we can all find unity in. It’s what you teach. It’s what I teach.
First off, we’re all sinners. We come before the cross with our sin exposed. Secondly, Christ alone is our hope. He is the only hope of glory and we exalt Him as our Savior. There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved, and you and I teach that, and we can share in that and that will bring glory to Him and make Him known to a world that needs a fresh reckoning as to who Jesus Christ is.
And finally, there will be celebration following the event. We are looking forward to hearing the testimonies how God used His church, people all over the globe moving out after being united with their brothers and sisters, moving out into their own local places, and inviting people in whatever way is culturally appropriate , inviting them to consider Christ yet again, or doing acts of service that will point to Christ. However, it is God that leads them.
We believe we’re going to hear story after story of how God used this movement of His people around the world—and some of those people will be from your church . They will have stories to tell their pastor, and you can celebrate those stories with them.
We hope you’ll send those stories to us because we would like them to be celebrated throughout the course of this next year as we consider doing this again in 2022, if Jesus doesn’t come and take his church home before Easter 2022.
Pastor, thank you for listening. I seriously hope that you will invite your church to join with us in this, and that you will help them to see how it complements your faithful service in the Kingdom that you do, day in and day out, and may God bless you for it.