My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
~ John 17:20-21
by Toni Birdsong
Mother Teresa said if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
She understood that changing the world—really changing the world—isn’t a solo sport. And so it goes with sharing your faith online.
Getting people to follow you, post on your blog, or give you a few dozen “likes” a day isn’t going to bring the world to repentance; nor will upping your Klout score fling wide the gates of heaven. But what if believers worked together online? What if we were firing on all cylinders instead of just a few?
What if our collective Love made people stop in their digital tracks. And stare. At Him.
Jesus ached for unity among believers. He knew salvation would suffer if the world didn’t first see unity (the strange, radical, you-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of unity) among those who professed to “follow” Christ. He knew unity produced Love and that only Love had the power to change the game—eternally.
In John 17 Jesus is preparing for home. He surveyed the motley crew that surrounded Him. Oh, he loved them, no doubt; radically and unconditionally. But their love for Him and zeal for the message couldn’t change who they were: flesh and bone, sin-filled men who would strike out alone, scatter, and divide—sooner or later.
So Jesus prayed.
He asked God to give His followers—you and me included—a supernatural unity; the kind reserved for Father (God) and son (Jesus). Jesus skipped giving the unity pep talk to the disciples. He knew that they couldn’t achieve heaven’s definition of human connectedness.
Unity could only come through a move of the Holy Spirit. And it did—full out—in the book of Acts. I’ve lived in the book of Acts for about eight years now. It’s my favorite book of the bible because I can close my eyes and imagine myself in the Superbowl of all Superbowls. It’s risky, it’s outrageous and . . . it’s a picture of what happens when the power of heaven takes up residence in sold-out believers on earth.
Don’t you just want to live there? We can.
The Book of Acts has everything to do with the message we carry online today—and the way we need to carry it.
How to move in unity online:
- Pray your guts out for unity among believers online.
- Pray some more.
- Confess and repent if you’ve been looking out for numero uno for way too long.
- Replace “I, my, and mine” with “Us, we, and ours.”
- Relinquish self-promotion and get into the digital trenches with everyone else.
- Lift others when you can.
- Stop talking and listen—to other tweeters, bloggers, and commenters.
- Be teachable.
- Help someone out.
- Work, eat, and pray together often.
- Meet face to face. As much as possible.
- Rejoice in the diversity thriving around you.
- Share digital possessions—resources, wisdom, contacts.
- Be humble and gentle with one another.
- Extend outrageous grace with every click.
- Build one another up.
- Be patient, bearing with one another in love.
- Get fixed on the bigger picture of God’s glory. Refuse to major in the minors.
- Be fun and have fun!
Do you believe Jesus’ idea of unity is possible among believers online today? If so, what will it require of us/you?
Post/Tweet this today:
#WeAreTheBody. Together, online, we can change the game—for eternity. #LiveSticky
- Unity in our Diversity (stephenlbaxter.wordpress.com)
- Putting Unity First (challies.com)
- Places to go global, bear fruit and love others (stickyJesus.com)
Like the blog? Buy the book. Reconsider the way you spend your time online.