Through my message last Sunday at Highway, I spent time unpacking the idea that THE church should and can be united in certain areas. For example, Praise should be the most natural. As humans we are created to give praise to people and things. We applaud achievers, cheer on champions and wear the brands of winners…and we don’t even try hard at this. It comes natural. My kids are recipients of my praise when they bring home report cards or finish an athletic or choral event. My wife gets her share when she exemplifies those things which catch my attention in our marriage, ministry or family life. It’s easy for me to do considering their proximity every day. So, considering the fact that God has done far exceedingly above anything that my family could do, it should be just as natural to give Him praise. Right?
With so may disagreements across church denominations and doctrines, it’s a wonder that we reach as many people in the world as we do! At least I have found that this is the case with many spiritually curious people around. Why would they want to be a part of a “religious organization” that can’t even get along with each other? And I personally think that this is a fair question for us to be confronted with! Churches split every day over some of the most menial things. Color of the new carpet. Size of the budget. Length of the service or focus of the vision. And I’m not 100% sure if this can be completely stopped until all selfish people are removed from every church. So as you can see, it probably won’t. So what do we do? Maybe put more attention on what we are FOR than what we are AGAINST. A greater priority on where we AGREE than on where we DISAGREE. More positive. Less negative. More Christ. More love.
So back to the idea of praise. Why can’t this be the starting place of our collective churches? I think it’s possible. Denver churches are killing it with hundreds, if not thousands of believers meeting every quarter to worship and pray together without pushing a specific church or agenda. I am personally aware of pockets of unity in the Boulder area where local pastors pray and churches gather to share space each month in worship. Our church actually gets to host the next one coming up the first Sunday of April (5 pm | 3665 Madison Ave Boulder CO 80303) called, Adoration. Is ‘praise’ the end of where we can unify the church? I don’t think so. Prayer was mentioned above as well. Maybe purpose. Maybe passion. It is Passion Week after all. But praise is an easy first step because the moment we get our own agendas and personalities out of the way…the moment we strip away our pride and need for worth and yes, praise, we get an urgent desire to give praise somewhere else. And I think, it’s in that moment that we bring our best to God because we are reminded of exactly who HE IS. If you are in the Boulder area in April, we invite you to join us for Adoration, but wherever you live, bring unity to the church. After all, it was one of Jesus’ greatest desires.