Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about UniteBoston – what a church truly united in Christ’s love would look like… and what UniteBoston is doing to help bring greater unity to this city.
These crazy-looking diagrams below are just a few of what I’ve come up with.
Please note that this is my model and my interpretation of the system that UniteBoston is a part of – I’m just one person and I don’t think I can even pretend to have it all figured out!
First, I started off with the question “What is unity? How is Christian unity formed?” And I came up with this diagram:
The foundation of unity is the shared love that we have for one another. Love is the fruit of relationships, and relationships happen because of a shared experience that two people have together. Shared experiences are the result of a commonality between two people, such as gifting, background, cause, interest, circumstance, location, etc. Although every commonalities is a piece of information, this information in itself does not bring unity – rather, unity comes out of the relationships we have with one another.
UniteBoston’s mission is to better unite the Christian community in Boston through shared experience. We harness the scattered array of information through an infrastructure for communication, as a catalyst for relationships across the body. UniteBoston does this through an weekly email newsletter digest, an online events calendar, and forums to connect resources and needs. We believe that we can use the Internet to communicate information throughout the body of Christ broader, faster, and easier than ever before.
The body of Christ has an opportunity to go from being church-focused to kingdom-minded. Today, our mentality tends to be “my church,” “your church,” rather than being of one church, with many sites throughout the city or region. Biblical unity is a strong theme throughout the bible (Ephesians 4, Psalm 133, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 12, Philippians 2:1, Colossians 3:14) and unity even is Jesus’ dying prayer for His followers (John 17). Because of this, I believe that the Church needs a reformation of our identity, mission, and leadership structure in order to be the body that we were created to be:
-We must go from an identity based in a single church, denomination, or culture, to being part of the Body of Christ
-In making disciples, we must go from having independent outreach initiatives, to having Interdependent Shared Mission
-We must build on our church-centered leadership to incorporate Collaborative Regional Leadership
(colors correspond to diagram below)
UniteBoston is a means of harnessing and communicating information across the body, which helps to strengthen our identity, reinforce our shared mission, and facilitate relationships for regional collaboration among leaders. Being able to communicate more efficiently and effectively with one another will produce greater awareness, act as a relational connector, generate greater participation, and expand the possibilities of individuals.
So, yeah! This is just the beginning – I’ve got a lot of other crazy diagrams going around in this little head of mine – let me know if you want to see more.
I’m curious – what do you guys think? Make sense or not? Post a comment below!
P.S. I know the images are a little difficult to see, so here are the raw files online: