Thursday, May 3, 2012
Bride over Brand
This week I had a remarkable set of meetings with 20 movement leaders in Africa. All of them represented different denominations and countries and all of them were together for a week to discuss how they could work synergistically together to send missionaries, see church planters trained and to reach those parts of Africa where the gospel has not penetrated.
What is remarkable is that they were placing the Bride (the church of Jesus) over their particular brand (denomination).
Bride over Brand is a mindset that should pervade all of our efforts to spread the Gospel. This does not mean that we must give up the distinctives of our brand. It does mean that we are willing to actively cooperate with others for a higher goal of seeing the Bride expand, knowing that our brand is one small expression of the Bride that Jesus died for.
This takes a mindset that "we will cooperate rather than compete." It is a humble posture that knows that no one of us can do this by ourselves and that we have a lot to learn from others. It is a kingdom rather than a provincial mindset that places the Bride in its proper perspective. It is a Jesus mindset above all that values what He values - that all men might come to believe.
I long for the day when this kind of mindset prevails across Christianity. When it does, we will see the Gospel spread in ways that we cannot imagine. Until it does, we will continue to do our own thing, not realizing that we are better together than separate.
What is your mindset? What are you doing about it?