I heard something interesting on the radio the other day; I think the program is called Creation Moments. It was about plants and how they know the other seeds that came from the parental plant. Research showed that those seeds that came from the same vine didn't feel like they had to compete for resources, but they were firmly planted in unity. Those seeds that were planted with other seeds not from the same plant felt they had to compete; their roots were longer as they tried to ensure their own survival.
There is much in the Bible about roots, planting, sowing, reaping, fruit, etc. I think just as God made plants to grow in harmony if they are from the same vine, God wants us to be planted with other seeds from the vine - His Vine. He is the vine, we are the branches. When we work together in our purpose we can be firmly planted in God, but don't have to be in competition with each other. When we start trying to do things on our own, we have to try to take care of ourselves, and we start a competition.
Christ's body shouldn't be in competition with each other, and I think so often it is seen that way. There is this denomination turf, and even within different denominations there is this competition for resources - for laborers, for numbers, for money.
I was so pleased to hear my pastor say that our church planted seeds in other churches - not in other countries, although we do support missions and have planted churches, but in the community that the church is located. The other pastors were kind of taken back that our church would sow into their church - but my pastor's vision isn't just for the church we attend, it is for reaching the lost in the community and he realizes our church is not the only outlet to do it. It is going to take all of the churches working together - one body, one mission - to reach the lost.
We have to stop fighting with the body of Christ. As Mario Muello stated "We must work as a cooperative force that pulls together talent and manpower instead of working in isolation, with possessiveness and competition against each other to show the world the love of Christ." He wasn't speaking from some selfish ambition to grow his ministry - but following the lead of Christ's own prayer for the church found in John 17.
Verses 20 - 23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me. through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me. I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me".
We are the light of the world; a giant spotlight sheds a lot more light than a mini flashlight!.