Think about it. Are the churches or Christian organizations in your area of ministry, praying, planning, and working together? If not, why not? And possibly more important, does it really matter?
Individualism is a disability in evangelism strategies just like a diseased or damaged organ is in the human body. Partnership based evangelism strategies, reflecting personal wholeness and restoration in Christ, are like the healthy human body where all the parts are working in harmony.
Ego-centric personalities, fear of loss, selfishness, organizational pride, theological exclusivity, and nationalistic qualities (language, culture, politics, etc.) are divisive elements familiar to us all. The distance these qualities produce between believers in day to day ministry is tragic. However, when individualism of this sort infects an evangelism strategy it not only spiritually neutralizes the energy of the Holy Spirit it also destroys the credibility of our message.
Jesus clearly states that the credibility of His life and message is bound up in the world’s ability to look at the Christians and see restored relationships of love and trust (John 17:21-23). In short, how we conduct our evangelistic efforts is as important as the objective itself. Powerful idea! Restored relationships in the Body of Christ is the message!
St. Paul’s metaphors about the human body and the Church remind us of the picture of health and wholeness. All parts respecting each other. Each part working in a coordinated way with all the others. (Romans 12:5-17, I Cor 12:4-31, Eph 4:4-16) So, it should be in our evangelism strategies. Satan destroys and divides (Gen 3:9) Jesus restores and makes whole (John 13:34-35).
Some time back in a religiously “closed” country which had a deep tradition of community-based culture, eight believers were baptized in a single day. Several said, “All the Christians we met knew and loved each other. That was a great witness to us. It was such a change from the world in which we live every day!” It is for these reasons that we have worked for nearly a dozen years encouraging believers around the world to work together in practical unity through partnership.