For decades, if not centuries, churches have often failed to work together unless a crisis forced them to do so. We’ve let the non-essentials divide us and we’ve played for the name on the back of the jersey instead of playing for the team on the front of the jersey. Many of us in the church have praised unity publicly while failing to practice it privately.
My father was a well respected pastor and leader in the community of Chillicothe we planted Centerpoint in. For years he prayed for unity and did everything he could to see the walls of division come tumbling down. Some people were receptive. Many were not. He spearheaded a Tuesday morning prayer time for area pastors of all denominations that still exists today and it’s growing as the circle prayers he prayed around this community for years begin to get answered.
Part of the answer to those prayers came early this year as local churches in our area came together to help fund and staff The Hope Clinic. The Hope Clinic provides free basic medical assistance for the individuals in our community without insurance. Instead of complaining about how something needed to be done we did it…together. The success of the clinic has prompted vision from some of it’s leaders on what else we might be able to do together. The clinic is only the beginning.
With a mindset of unity in front of us, Centerpoint held a combination baptism service last night with another local church (Church Triumphant) and together, we packed out a building and baptized over 20 people! As we closed out the service in worship the words THE ENEMY’S BEEN DEFEATED echoed loudly through the building and it wasn’t just a statement, it was a proclamation! We had plundered the gates of hell by joining together to do something significant and we knew it!
The idea churches can’t work well together is straight from hell and personally, I think those of us who truly want to build bridges would do well to send it back where it came from! It’s time each of us, in our specific communities, change the trend and show the world what can happen when the church unites under the heading of Jesus! The trend is certainly changing in Chillicothe, OH but I don’t believe we are the first nor will we be the last. Together, we can change the world and it’s time we do it.