HAPPY CLAPPY vs. NON-CLAPPERS - A CALL FOR UNITY
AREA WIDE SINGING BRINGS UNITY
UNITY IS TOUGH
I'll say it again...unity is tough! No matter if you're talking about socio-economic, or racial divides, or even divides within The Church. Even within the same denominational (or non-denominational) lines there is so much division. Within the non-denominational Churches of Christ you've got all sorts of dividing lines: non-institutional/institutional, one cup/many cups, no "Sunday school"/lots of Bible studies, mutual edification (no single preacher)/single preacher, paid staff/no staff, clappers/non-clappers, women allowed to lead/women remain silent, no praise team/praise team, instrumental worship/a cappella worship/both, contemporary/traditional, gym & fellowship hall/no fun in the name of Christ (just kiddin'), lyric only song slides/sheet music notation slides only/both, multi-campus/single campus, multi-service/single service...and I'm sure the list goes on. Wow, that's a lot of division when you really write it out!
The sad thing is that even within our Churches of Christ we can't agree. Now for some these are just preferences, but some will condemn and even completely cut ties with those who don't agree with them. I use to be this way, but I've seen God's love, grace and mercy as far more sufficient and inclusive than this. Without getting too deep into debate mode with all of this I will stop there, but feel free to get in touch with me if you'd like to discuss more. I'd be happy to do so, and have a Biblical discussion as to my beliefs.
I'd like to say how proud I am of everyone who attended the area wide worship last week. I know in that room we have so many varying opinions (which is especially apparent on songs that some clap on and others don't because they disagree with it). In that room there are some who have hurt us, some who've left our church for another, that even the thought of potentially running into these people can be painful and cause intense anxiety. However in that short hour and half that we were together we set aside our differences, joined our hearts and minds as one body to praise and glorify our God! It was beautiful, unitive, and healing!
If we can't stand united how are we going to attract those outside The Church? The world sometimes does a better job with unity than The Church. However, the unity we have through our Savior Jesus Christ is far more powerful than any of the aforementioned things that Satan may use to divide us. May we continue to seek unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and with those outside our churches.
LET'S SHOW THE WORLD HOW TO DO UNITY
I don’t know about you but I had an incredible time at the area wide worship gathering at Park Plaza Church of Christ last week! These events are more than just a time to sing songs, it's a show of unity. If you missed it you can click on the video at the top and watch the entire service. This is something we typically do once a year, and I anticipate it with great excitement every time. I'm not sure of an official count but we had an incredible turn out with estimates around 1,100 people. The auditorium was completely packed out with extra chairs brought in, and everyone shouting their praises to the heavens! It felt as though the roof was going to come off the place!
I’ve been honored to be a part of the planning and coordination of this event alongside fellow worship ministers Shane Coffman (Memorial Drive) and Bryson Holley (Park Plaza). In an effort to promote unity between all of the Churches of Christ in Tulsa, we invited people from basically every Church of Christ in Tulsa and the surrounding towns. After all the coordination, we ended up being led by 25 people from 9 churches as we sang, prayed, quoted Scripture, and then sang a bunch more! Afterwards we had a great time of fellowship with one another, as we had several food trucks in the parking lot directly following the service.
We had a lot of great feedback from everyone in attendance, and requests to do this more often. So we are planning and hoping to start doing these twice a year. For 2019 we are thinking of the dates March 31st and September 29th, both of which are 5th Sundays which allow for most people to attend without competing with other church events. So save the date, mark your calendars and plan to attend! Look for more details in the coming months. Hope you'll join us next time as we lift our praises to our LORD! May we honor our LORD as we continue to pursue unity with one another, and thereby be a shining example to the world about us in order to win souls for Christ! Can I get an amen, church?!
Cory is our worship minister. He and his lovely wife Hannah have 3 beautiful kids, Margo, Solomon and Juniper. They have a heart for foster care and adoption. Cory has a passion for music and how it connects to God's heart. He enjoys running marathons and being out in nature.