To realize the highest unity, we often sacrifice the very reason why we seek it. Kingdom has purpose and strategy as a basis for unity. We need to pursue kingdom unity. To do so, we must being with kingdom.
We see unity in the Upper Room. Unless we are careful in our thinking, we assume that the “one accord in one place” means that the mere assembly of people together was unity. However, they reason behind the unity was kingdom, purpose, and strategy that they received from Jesus.
From the first appearance of Jesus after His Resurrection, “He showed Himself to His disciples” and spent 40 days on the principle of accumulating believers, the first church growth manual was printed by this initial church growth conference…oops, wait a minute, He spent the entire 40 days talking about the kingdom of God. So much so that the disciples were excited enough about kingdom to ask if He was going to restore the kingdom now to Israel. (That perspective would limit them for another 17 years.)
Jesus answers, “Not your business. Father’s business.” Begin with kingdom, Father is in charge of seasons. We learn that who and what, concerning kingdom, has a seasonal aspect that Father keeps in His own hands.
“Tarry in Jerusalem until you receive power from on high.” That’s the culmination of 40 days of kingdom discussions. Purpose: kingdom. Strategic: Tarry until you are empowered from heaven. Unity: waiting for the promise that will empower them to fulfill the purpose.
Our efforts at unity seldom begin with kingdom, lack a kingdom purpose, and usually have little or no strategy from God that answers to Father’s seasons.
Getting everybody on board is another symptom of our faulty definition of ekklesia. First, we assume Ecclesia has little to do with kingdom because kingdom is future. Second, we assume Ecclesia is “the accumulation of believers.” Third, we assume that unity means “bringing all the influential pastors together.” Fourth, we assume that “fellowship” means “have another cup of java and act like you respect me even when you think my doctrine is devilish.”
Little in this echoes Jesus’ words, deeds, patterns, intentions, or strategies. When some moment of kingdom strategy does break through, all the pastors are not on board, and the critical mass of Awakening always flows through a Remnant with a radical agenda because they have a strategy based upon a kingdom purpose.
Inevitably, the church growth definitions interpret the break through in their own terms or frame of reference, emptying the break through of kingdom, purpose, and strategy with pious words about more accumulations.
Unity doesn’t mean accumulation in Jesus’ leadership model, kingdom purpose, or implementation strategy. His blueprints do not call for high rises as much as deep foundations, strong walls, and living stones assembled without hammer or saw, shaped and finished at the quarry before assembly.
Ten thousand people praying “Lord, I lay me down to sleep” won’t change a nation! One person with kingdom purpose and strategy can stop an entire culture in its tracks, call fire from heaven, and shift the culture through confrontation. The point being, they were all in one accord one place with a promise based upon a kingdom purpose that would release them into a kingdom strategy. No one in the upper room assumed that anointing was enough.
Immediately the power produced the purpose, kingdom grew by several thousand, and “they devoted themselves to the apostle’s didache, taking a share as shareholders of a purpose and strategy, ate together, and prayed together.” The purpose remained the focus of the strategy, and the apostles set about teaching what Jesus had shared during those 40 days as a basis for understanding everything He had said and done up to His Resurrection.
This means that Ecclesia is a called together assembly of people born into the kingdom who have a shareholder stake in the purpose and strategy of the kingdom, learning to love and honor one another through consistent face to face encounters, so they can pray with shared purpose and strategy.
Strategy trumps unity because being unified about something other than the what-Father-wants in any season runs contrary to kingdom purpose.