Rick and I were deeply impacted by the last two weekends at IHOPKC on you tube. Several leaders of different streams of thought in the Church came together just by God’s design and spoke on unity. Francis Chan has been exploring this subject for the last couple years and intentionally getting to know people who have believed very differently regarding the Gifts of the Spirit and other things.
In John 17, Jesus emphasizes his desire for the Church to be unified as He prays for all of us.
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
- What do we learn about God?
- What do we learn about people?
- What word or phrase stands out to you?
- What should we do differently because of this?
Let’s all be very careful how we talk about people in other churches. They are all children of God and He loves them very much.
John Wimber who started the Vineyard Churches used to say that God wants us to love the whole Church.
God loves all the Church, no matter how different they are from what we believe.
Let’s challenge ourselves to show our love to the whole Church and not talk badly about anyone.
During this pandemic, we have gained a lot by listening to Mike Bickle’s teachings especially on prayer. Our prayer lives have really deepened and we are so thankful for that in the midst of so much turmoil in the world around us.
Francis Chan’s story of befriending Mike Bickle is especially interesting to us since we also have had a similar journey.
We went to a church as teenagers that was basically Reformed Presbyterian in a congregational setting.
Then we attended Biola University where they did not acknowledge the Gifts of the Spirit until later on in the missions department and then when a girl got healed after she was hit by a train in 1978.
Then we went to Fuller Seminary and John Wimber began to teach the MC510 class on Signs and Wonders and Rick attended that class including a clinic after the lecture where people were healed.
After that, we visited the Anaheim Vineyard which was one hour south of where we lived near Pasadena, California and were blown away by the atmosphere in worship and the healing taking place in the room.
We kept looking at each other and saying, “Is this what they wanted us to stay away from?”
Then we began a new church at an elementary school that became a Vineyard Christian Fellowship in our hometown.
I also came from an Italian Catholic extended family that was full of real believers that prayed for me and gave to missions when we first started getting involved in India.
Now we live in Chicago and attend a very diverse church of many people from several nations who all love Jesus! We are learning so much still and have much more to learn!
So, I challenge you all to love the whole Church and expand your vision so that as Jesus prays for us, we may all be one as He is one in the trinity.
Have a good week and feel free to share your thoughts.