Summit Church, you’re a strange bunch.

Last night at our Annual Church Conference, you discussed a 4.8 million dollar budget, adding staff, buying two warehouses and a tract of land, and changing the by-laws.

And the amazing thing is, you didn’t fight about it.  Nobody cussed.  No one threw punches.  There was no name-calling, no criticism, no immediately-formed parking lot committees to discuss the overthrow of the elders and pastoral team.

Do you know how strange that is?

Do you know that in many other churches, a discussion like last night’s would have resulted in at least three of the above things?  Do you know that many churches in our country have split down the middle over much more inconsequential items?

And do you know what a shame that is for the bride of Christ?

Don’t get me wrong: unity doesn’t mean conformity.  It doesn’t mean that we see eye to eye on every detail.  It doesn’t dictate that we can’t have our own opinion or have a question or need a particular facet of the discussion explained further.

But persistent disunity in the church is a damnable apologetic against the Gospel.

In John 17, Jesus prayed that we’d be one.  Not that we’d be robotic clones of one another, but that in spirit, in peace, in love…we’d be one.  When the church is not one, the surrounding community knows it.  They hear about it.  They suspect it.  And many times, it’s all the ammunition they need to put off a relationship with Christ.

In a society where the Republicans hate the Democrats and the liberals hate the conservatives and Tom hates Jerry, it’s refreshingly weird to see a group of people that genuinely love each other.  And it’s interesting that – at least according to our mission statement  – we have to love each other before we can love our world.

Good job, Summit.  I’m proud to be one of you.

“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23)