Here at Barnabas Ministries we put a great deal of focus on unity, and the amazing stories from pastors who come together across the globe move us—sometimes with tears of joy. We are inspired by these images and reports, whether they involve seminary students in the US from diverse backgrounds, church planters in Botswana, or pastors in India.
We find unity at the heart of the Gospel. Only the Gospel makes full unity possible, and if this unity is not evident, we must ask ourselves if we’ve embraced the full Gospel.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34
Rather than some nice abstract idea, the kind of unity that Jesus commanded (John 13:34), prayed for (in John 17:23), and died for, demonstrates the love of the Father to a watching world. Rather than a oneness based on an idea, or a cause, unity finds Jesus at its center.
John 17:23 pastoral support groups provide a means for pastors and pastoral leaders from varying perspectives to come together like never before. These groups give pastoral leaders the opportunity to build a community of love between one another. Storytelling—the stories of life and of ministry—are a big part of the John 17:23 group experience. Stories help us to know one another, and help us to see God at work in one another. Two pastors in New England recently shared:
I’ve loved connecting with newer ministers! They have challenged my way of thinking and given me some fresh perspective on how God is working.
It has been great becoming friends with and hearing the stories of other pastors in my community. It's a blessing getting to know them as people, not only as "ministry partners" collaborating on tasks together.
The stories of coming together are the key currency of this ministry. In the coming months we want to share more of these stories with you. You can find some of these on our YouTube channel or our Facebook page. I encourage you to visit these online locations so that you can be blessed by the John 17:23 Conversations, the John 17:23 Devotionals and the stories shared by pastors there.
If you have a story about how God is working, we’d love to hear from you!