Here at Barnabas Ministries part of our vision is to foster relational unity between pastors so that the world might more easily find Jesus. What do we mean by relational unity? As recorded in John 17:23, Jesus prays that his followers at every place and in every time would be “perfectly one” so that the world would know the Father sent the Son into the world.
I’m inspired by the way the the Apostle Paul illustrates this further in his letter to the Romans:
...so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. – Romans 12:4, NKJV
When he says we are members of one another, Paul shows that our oneness is worked out in our relationships with one another. Though you may agree, you can’t demonstrate unity with someone you don’t really know. It seems to me that the unity Jesus prayed for can only be demonstrated by love between one another. In so doing we, as Jesus’ followers, demonstrate to a watching world the very love of the Father.
When I meet a pastoral leader, I often ask: what do you and the other pastors sense that God is doing right now in your community? A couple of years ago my heart broke at the response from one pastor: “Oh, I don’t really know any other pastors in town.”
We aim to gather pastors together because John 17:23 pastoral support groups are a powerful way to foster genuine and thriving relationships between these leaders in communities who need to see a demonstration of the Father’s love at work…so that the world would know the Father sent the Son.