· Remember that each region has only one true church where Christ is Lord. (See Revelation 2 and 3). He has prayed that we be one to show the world that Jesus was sent by the Father (John 17).
· Watch for the moves of the Spirit that are always going before. Keep your eyes, ears, heart, spirit open to what God is already doing around you.
· God has always been going before you—look for the signs of convergence and God’s preparation
o In your city
o In your life
· Find the intercessors and stay close to them
· Start with relationships, not events
· Remember people distrust and build theories about those they don’t know. These dissolve where there is relationship
· Identify the various pastoral tribes in your community (in our case we have separate tribes for Evangelicals, Pentecostals, African-Americans, Hispanics)
· Understand that each tribe has its own culture and tribal chieftains. Learn the cultures and know the chieftains.
· Appreciate the tribal cultures. Remember Christ loves the whole Church despite their flaws, especially the flaws within your tribe.
· Learn to be multicultural, working in more than one tribe. As long as we stay separate the Devil wins. When we are One the church will rally, the world will take notice, and the Devil will flee.
· Find others who share your passion. Build a coalition team behind the scenes. Don’t make the identity of this team public. If you do, then others will ask who put you in charge? Just work quietly together behind the scenes. You’ll have allies working with you in each of the tribes.
· Theologically move to the highest common denominators (Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the gospel, authority of Scripture, the Cross, prayer, revival)
· Don’t treat cultural differences as theological differences
· Where there has been past friction between tribes, ask “why?” Learn from the past
· Where there have been past conflicts practice deliberate “gracism”. In other words, affirmative action in reconciliation will be needed. Remain persistent even when you are initially ignored. They want to know if you are just like everybody else who wanted to symbolically embrace diversity, but were unwilling to accept them and their culture as full partners.
· Don’t try to simply be “color blind”. It won’t work. The goal is not homogeneity (the old melting pot idea where they are supposed to become like us). The goal is a total embrace of all the flavors of Christ’s body (a stew pot, not a melting pot).
· Don’t ignore the differences. Bring them out in the open. Talk about them. Recognize them and recognize the power of the Spirit to embrace every nation, tribe, and tongue. It will happen in heaven. It can start now.
· Don’t accept “we tried it before, it didn’t work.” Ask “does that mean we should stop?”
This short vimeo clip is helpful as well: http://vimeo.com/81029292.
One Cry is based in nearby Buchanan, Michigan. The National Director, Randy Hekman, is actually located in Grand Rapids. Please pray that God will raise up more intercessors and leaders to follow the Spirit in bring unity and revival in the Church.