A Conceptual Understanding of UniteBoston

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 Opportunity

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:

Slide 1: http://www.webspirationpro.com/view/1080237a302c2

Slide 2: http://www.webspirationpro.com/view/1080169a7aae

Slide 3: http://www.webspirationpro.com/publish.php?i=1080337a2f6f6

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One thought on “A Conceptual Understanding of UniteBoston

  1. Great, Kelly! What is unity?

    How about hearts knit together like David and Johnathan’s covenant (1 Sam. 18) and like the Father being in Jesus and Jesus being in the Father (John 17:21) with hearts woven together eternally? Do you know of any Christians trying to eternally knit their hearts together with you? This, however, is not intuitive. Human instinct gravitates to the pack mentality: Us vs. Them, like you were saying. Thus, the church seems largely based on natural instinct rather than on the Holy Spirit and God’s word.

    Jude 1:19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

    How is Christian unity formed?

    People based in natural instinct are going to tend towards division. Sure, they’ll have some unity amongst the members of a group, but likely divisive, “better than thow” attitudes between groups and individuals and putting people out without a loving process of reconciliation (Matt. 5:9, Matt. 5:23-24, Matt. 18:15-17, and Gal. 6:1-2, etc.) If there is a process of peacemaking being used then there is no fear of uniting one’s heart together with others in eternal devotion because the peacemaking process will weed out any divisive, easily offended, non-listening, prideful, instinct-driven person. Perfect love casts out all fear! Unity can be achieved by not trusting our instincts and and following the Holy Spirit in love according to the word of God. So, I like that you are showing that the core of unity is the Spirit operating in us through love.

    Jesus gave two basic commands, Love God and love others, as you have shared before. It seems that loving God is spending lots of time connecting with him in worshipful prayer and obeying the scriptures by the transformation of the Holy Spirit.

    Lots of prayer does no good if it is not followed horizontally by humbly loving and serving others in obedience to the Word and by personal transformation through the Holy Spirit. Is there any other way to unity? What do you think?

    Revival process

    Sorry that I am a crazy, intense, fool for Jesus, but according to Acts 2, 1 Sam. 18, John 17:21, etc., Christian revival seems to work as follows…

    1. Reckless abandon to knitting our hearts eternally together in love with God through Jesus
    2. Hearts eternally recklessly devoted and knitted together in the Holy Spirit’s love = unity
    3. Unity brings Holy Spirit power by way of corporate Temple/Bride
    4. Holy Spirit power causes works producing “awe”
    5. Awe attracts people and proves legitimacy of true disciples through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit
    6. Church structure and programs build up brethren for more true unity (i.e. steps “1 and 2”) and more Holy Spirit power and thus more people and more legitimacy, etc.
    I believe any reverse order will not produce the same results. If there were people really doing this, then it seems we would have heard about it and it would not be a passing revival like all of the ones in the past.

    What do you think? I’m ready to recklessly abandon myself to join in such unity with others of like mind for the glory of Christ! Any one else want to join me? It’s not easy but I believe God has taught me how to do it.

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