This social action is one of the ways that we can work in unity with other Christians, indeed other people of faith, to make a difference in the world. When we focus on what Jesus called us to do, rather than what Jesus called us to believe, then we may often find we have more in common with others than we think. The great splits and church fights have generally been about doctrine, rather than how we make the world a better place for everyone. A homeless person who hasn’t eaten for days is not really interested in what our view is on communion, or how we interpret scripture.
At the beginning of the meeting, we said a prayer together about Christian unity and I was mulling on what Christian unity actually means on my drive home. Early last year, MCC Newcastle took part in a Church Size Summit. Many of you completed questionnaires to gather information about your experience of being part of MCC Newcastle. One area the questionnaire focussed on was worship. Overwhelmingly, people thought our worship was good or excellent. What was fascinating was that the question on “personal worship style preference” revealed that we are very diverse in our preferred worship styles – traditional, praise and worship, blended and contemplative were each preferred by a fifth of those completing the form, with the final fifth composed of those were preferred contemporary, charismatic or weren’t sure. For me, this gives a glimpse of what Christian unity is like. We each have our own preferences, yet can come together to share something we all value and appreciate, because we recognise the common ground we share. MCC Newcastle is almost its own “churches together” group it seems.