Am I Pushing My Own Agenda?
While I feel that networking with other churches is biblically based and allows the Church as a whole to better reach the lost, I have to ask myself, is that true?
Is every church supposed to network with other churches? Or are just smaller churches supposed to network? Can large megachurches successfully carry out the will of God for their church on their own?
Does networking work in all contexts? What about churches that are out in the middle of nowhere and really are the only church within 100 miles? Or missionaries who are far from any sort of support (assuming they have no internet access or cell phone service)?
This post is more about asking these questions than providing answers. Here are some of my opinions:
- Our reborn spirits have a propensity to work in accordance with the Holy Spirit, but our fleshly nature has a propensity to work for our own ends, which leads to division. (cf. 1 Cor 3:3-9, Eph 4:3)
- God’s will for individual Christians will coalesce with His will for other Christians. A collection of individuals following God’s will together is a church.
- God’s will for individual churches will coalesce with His will for other churches. The collection of churches following God’s will together is the Kingdom of God.
- When we realize the size and scope of God’s will, we will be much more willing to work together. But as long as our vision is small and shortsighted, we will continue to divide and compete.
At the end of the day, I can’t judge other churches who refuse to network, especially if they are faithfully communicating the Gospel and serving the community. Networking, as Calvin might put it, must but a non-essential belief (or in this case, practice).
What About You?
Is networking that big of a deal? In what contexts might networking be very important and in what contexts would networking not be important?