For many within the "church", especially leadership, we've understood the need for "connection" for some time now. (Although sometimes, well meaning preachers have limited the term to 'being at church' - rather than 'being THE church.') Hear my heart, I'm a huge advocate of the gathering of the saints, both in small groups and larger groups. I simply want to make sure 'attendance' & 'audience' are not the main goals, but rather - activation, equipping & sending, etc.
One definition of connection is this:
- The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment – and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
Energy is what one has, synergy is what one shares.
Ephesians 2:20, Eph. 4:16, 1 Cor. 11 & 12 and Colossians 2:19 all agree, that synergy is what we're after; the "body" being made healthy and mature by "what every joint/member supplies."
Here is what I'm after though. I'm both glad and grateful that I have got to see in my lifetime, the tide began to turn, so that leadership within the Church is finally recognizing the need for collaboration and cooperation between the corporate members of the body - not just connection between the individual members within a single church.
- I personally think it can be directly attributed to the restoration of the five-fold ministry the past 20 years, that we're beginning to see cooperation & collaboration on the scale that we are. Egos & insecurities are being laid aside, and we're learning to focus on regional assignments, not just individual ones. Building a large church within the community is becoming less important than strengthening THE church within the community; which can only empower the people living within said community.
- Watch for God to continue doing more and more globally in the coming years, through men & women who are willing to lay ego & insecurity aside, and cooperate & collaborate with other men & women, crossing all manner of dividing lines and demarcations; as we continue learning to forsake personal agendas for Kingdom assignments.
I understand where denominations came from, and I am not bitter about it, and we should stop being hateful towards them as well. They were meant to express the diversity of Heaven (and perhaps they did for a season), but they also began to manifest the division of men over time, as lines were drawn in the sand, so we could create labels for our comfort...and sufficiently identify the supposedly "heretical" beliefs of those different from us.
This happened because of ego & insecurity - and our unwillingness to cooperate & collaborate. I'm not bitter about it, but I have known for some time now that the Father is moving the Body away from that type of expression in the earth - and beginning to unveil something more "kingdom" and "Body" modeled - because they reflect diversity AND deflect divisive mindsets.
I sat at lunch recently with a minister who is very seasoned and experienced; much more so than I am, but his humility and willingness to bestow honor was very refreshing, even encouraging to this "reformation minded" man.
I'm filled with hope for the future. How can you be a citizen of the Kingdom of Christ, and not be? (Unless you're listening to other kingdoms "heralds" too often.)
Collaboration: “The action of working with someone – to produce or create something.”
~ Thoughts from Pastor Mark