A National Association of Evangelicals survey from November found that evangelical leaders stressed that unity is the most pressing need in the church in 2021.
According to the survey's press release, "Responses to the November Evangelical Leaders Survey question — What are the needs of the American church in a post-election season? — reveal several common themes: remember Jesus is Lord, focus on evangelism, heal personally and heal communally. However, the most resounding necessity of the church, according to evangelical leaders, is to commit to unity."
Among the leaders calling for unity amid deepening political and ideological divisions were NAE president Walter Kim, Evangelical Free Church President Kevin Kompelien, general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene Carla Sunberg and World Methodist Evangelism executive director Kimberly Reisman, among others.
In the press release, Kompelien reminded Christians of the “mission of God” Paul talks about in Ephesians 4. He asserted that the church must “refocus on the mission of God for the church in the world and His desire that we make every effort to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
The press release also quotes Sandberg, who states that the church must unify around truth and have "gracious and humble conversations." She said, "[We must] be committed to unity as God’s people. Unity as God’s people is achieved by holding our different views up to God’s truth through loving, gracious and humble conversations. Leadership must serve as responsible servants of our Lord and the church, by creating space for dialogue and graciously setting expectations for God’s people regarding humility, curiosity and respect in such conversations."
Further, Kimberly Hodder of The Salvation Army proposed a way forward for Christians going into 2021, stating "Our country is in desperate need of unity. Without it, America will be unable to tackle the enormous challenges that so many people now face. I believe that there is no better means of creating that unity than to proclaim the gospel in both word and deed. So, my prayer is that we will see this moment as an unparalleled opportunity to be the redemptive community that Christ called us to be."
According to The Christian Post, over 140 Christian leaders participated in the NAE survey.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Cecilie Arcurs
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.