I am an ardent local church guy. It’s what I do. The New Testament certainly sets the local church up as an absolute essential to the Christian life.
Having said that, I do not view other churches as competition. In fact, we are on the same team. Our competition is the nightclubs, bars, pubs, and anything that would keep people away from God.
Unity is an important word. Many use it as a thinly veiled disguise for a lack of commitment and accountability. “Well we are all the body” or “I go to numerous churches” are usually just people that are not planted and won’t be accountable to a local community of believers.
On that point, unity is not this either: “Let’s bring all the churches together for a revival meeting in a stadium.” It’s not in the Bible, and the point of getting a bunch of Christians together seems like the salt being in the shaker rather than in the world. In fact, the last time all the disciples were together in the same room was the Upper Room experience. From that point on they set about changing the world.
So the first step to unity is actually to strongly commit to a local church. The next step is to encourage other churches and speak highly of them. The final step is to hold a local church theology in one hand, and a kingdom theology in the other. They actually complement each other.
Remember, over 90% of Brisbane is still in need of a church on Sunday! Comments?