One thing great about Indonesia is the amount of holidays they have here due to religious observances. There is definitely a lot of tolerance for the various religions because everyone is trying to live in peace with one another. Couple of days ago was Ascension Day (commemorating the day that Jesus went up to heaven after His resurrection), therefore it was a national holiday.
With the relationships that I have been built with some of the international church pastors in Jakarta, we have been able to build some trust with one another. With this trust, we were able to join our congregations together and participate in a joint worship service for Ascension Day.
It was a powerful time of worship.
It was a powerful witness to the rest of the Body of Christ.
Through this gathering, God reminded me once again of several importance things:
2) We need to learn how to drop our egos and logos. When was the last time, we rejoiced when we heard that another church was seeing a lot of people being saved through the Gospel? When was the last time, we celebrated the growth of another church, especially in our neighborhood? The problem with the Church today is that we are consumed with making much about ourselves rather than Jesus Christ. The sooner we drop our egos and logos and put more of the focus on Christ, the sooner we will see greater things happen within a city.
3) We are able to make a bigger splash when we come together as one Church. Do you remember when you were younger and you did the cannonball in the swimming pool? I still remember trying to jump into the pool (with one knee up) and trying to make a big splash to get the lifeguard all wet. What would happen if 10 or 15 or 30 of us all jumped in at the same time?! We would definitely get the lifeguard and the old granny on the sun chair all wet! I don’t know about you, but I want to make a huge splash for Jesus and I know that I cannot do it alone. There is power when we come together.
4) We must remember that God loves unity and so does our church members. There is something about seeing children play together without fighting that brings great joy to the parent’s heart. God loves it when His children are getting along and are unified. In fact, this was one of Jesus’ greatest prayers (Jn 17). I have observed over the years that it is usually the pastors and leaders of ministries that promote (or fuel) the disunity in the Body of Christ. When I talk with people who are “just” members, they long for their church to work together with other churches. They are hungering for it. They are praying for it. Maybe some of us who are leaders in the churches need to rethink about how God judged the leaders in the Bible so harshly. With great privileges come great responsibilities.
One thing that I couldn’t help noticing during this joint Ascension Day service was the fact that we were exactly in the center of Jakarta and lifting up the name of Jesus. It was really a prophetic statement. It is my hope and prayer that we, the greater Church of Jesus will ripple out to reach the city and to all the people groups of Indonesia with the Gospel.