What is Unity & Why Does it Matter?


What is Unity?

Have you wondered what For Richmond means when we talk about unity? If you haven’t looked at the book of John, Chapter 17 in a while, that’s a great place to start out. In this chapter, we have Jesus’ final prayer before he dies. He knows that he’s about to die, so in his final hours, what was Jesus talking about?

He prays for three things, and the last thing that he prays for is for those who believe in him, and those who will believe in him. He specifically prays that those of us who are Christians would have unity with each other. He goes on to say that unity among believers will cause other people to believe in God. He’s not just talking about unity within just your church. He’s saying that we should have unity within THE Church.

To be clear, unity is not uniformity. We do not all have to be the same. We just need to work together, each of us bringing our unique giftings.

Another great passage is in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12. The apostle Paul is talking about how the church is like a body, made up of different parts. A body won’t work if the head, the hands, and the feet don’t work in coordination. Why is it that we’ve heard so many sermons talking only about how people in one individual church should work together?

There are over 800 churches in Metro Richmond. What if we worked together as one body to address the major issues facing our region? To paraphrase Bishop Claude Alexander of the Park Church in Charlotte,

“Imagine what Metro Richmond could look like, if the entire Body of Christ worked in tandem using its full musculature…. every tendon, ligament, bone, and muscle working in a coordinated manner for the good of our city.”

Scriptures for Further Reflection:


John 17: 20-23

I Corinthians 12: 12-27

Philippians 2: 1-8


Ephesians 2:14-18


Jeremiah 29: 4-11

Luke 4:18-19

Galatians 2:10

Acts 10:36-38


Ephesians 2:19-22

Psalm 133

Questions for Reflection:

1) What are the ways you see churches working together as the body of Christ, with each church bringing its unique gifts and strengths?

2) Do you sense that God is calling you to increase partnership – or oneness in Christ - for the advancement of the gospel and the flourishing of Richmond?

Going Deeper:

Access the City Gospel Movements Assessment Tool and use it to reflect on the 10 essential components that are key to city transformation.