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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Could Unity be a Spiritual Gift?

By Rick Blumenberg / @RickBlumenberg
The small congregation where I have served as pastor for the past year is facing some changes in the next few weeks and months. They are combining with another neighboring congregation and together, under the leadership of Pastor Herb Smith with his daughter Rachel Green as worship leader, they are beginning an entirely new congregation of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) in a building that has been around for more than a hundred years.
I’m using this experience to introduces thoughts about the uniqueness of church groups, associations, denominations, etc., as a part of the greater fellowship of Christ. Several years ago I worked for a Christian Music radio station in advertising sales. I met Christian business men and women in a wide variety of churches and we worked with a wide variety of church groups through the station.
During this time I became convinced God also gives spiritual gifts to different church groups. The various Mennonite and Amish groups clearly have the gift of service and they have taught the greater church so much from their giftedness.
The Pentecostals and some high church groups have taught us much about worship from widely divergent worship styles, and the greater church has benefited from them both.
The Baptists, particularly Southern Baptists, but really most of them, simply by exercising their evangelistic gifts, have made us all better evangelists. There are many other examples, but I think you get the point. I thank God for spiritual gifts, both individual and corporate.
Perhaps our (Church of God, Anderson, Indiana) fellowship has a spiritual gift in regards to our ability to work with both the liberal and conservative wings of the church. One place where I was pastor I belonged to two different pastoral fellowship groups—one very conservative and one quite liberal. I had great fellowship and worked cooperatively with ministers, ministries and organizations from both groups, but I was the only pastor in the community who was normally present for both.
This may be stretching it a bit, and I’m not sure what spiritual gift that would be, but I do think our concept of the unity of all believers has developed into a ministry in which many Church of God pastors are involved.
So could Unity be a spiritual gift? I really don’t know, but I thank God for that ministry and for all of you who are involved.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s My View from Tanner Creek.

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