Our Vision

People sometimes ask why we have such a passion to see the body of Christ come together and become one in the Spirit of God. Years ago, this burden was placed on a mentor of mine, a humble pastor whom I loved—Leonard Evans.

The Lord visited him and told him the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in the last century was for the purpose of realizing the prayer of Christ, “Father, may they be one, that the world may believe.” Everywhere he went he preached the love message of John 13: 34, 35, “Love one another as I have loved you that the world may recognize you are my disciples.”  His people got sick of his message. “Can’t you preach something else,” they complained.  But he could not.

My good friend, Leonard, died young, I believe of a broken heart. Not only was his message rejected by everyone, the church became more fragmented than ever.

Now I’m not a visual person. I rarely see anything when I close my eyes. Yet, over 25 years ago, while in prayer I saw something that changed my life. It was vivid and in living color.

The Vision: I saw a lovely young woman, dressed in white, like a bride, wandering alone and lost in a barren wilderness. Her beautiful gown was ripped, soiled and tattered. She was thirsty and frightened. Tears stained her face. Each step she took left a bloody footprint in the sand.

“Lord,” I asked. Who is this woman?”

“My bride,” He answered, my American bride.” I wept for her! I could not stop weeping but I felt the comfort of the Bridegroom weeping by my side as well.

Excited, I began preaching and sharing this message, but like my mentor, there was little receptivity to my message. I was puzzled, Why was this vision given to me?  Finally, after so much rejection, I got discouraged and put this call aside, thinking it was too impossible.

When I retired and was ready to take it easy, I met a woman with whom I shared this vision. Immediately she accepted it as from God and later she became my wife.

“You mustn’t give up. God wants you to continue on the path he put you on.” It was like a prophecy.

I cried out to God. “What can I do?”

“Intercede,” he said, “and prophesy! Call my lost bride back home that she may be restored to her former glory.  Weep with me. Woo her and win her back to her Bridegroom. There are many others that I’m calling as well. This is the hour of her restoration.”

We are committed to this holy vision, in part through prayer and in part through this blog The Horizontal Church.

Lord of Mercy and Grace, forgive us our divisions. Heal and restore us, we pray and bring us back into the unity of former days. Restore your church to her former glory and power. 

To Reconcile or Exclude, A Dilemma.

All nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. [Matthew 25: 32]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “…the mystery of Christ is this: to unite all things in him in heaven and earth.”(Ephesians 1, 9, 10)

Recently I spoke with a friend about God’s mystery, i.e. his ultimate plan to unite all things in Christ. He countered with the sheep and goats parable, implying God’s plan is to divide rather than unite.  He has a point. How do we reconcile this parable that excludes people with His intention to unite all things?   Continue reading

Unveiling the Mystery of God

We puzzle over those well-known mysteries such as UFO’s, the Loch Ness Monster, lost Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, and the identity of Jack the Ripper. They are still unsolved, but there is one mystery that isn’t. St. Paul cited “the mystery of God [Gk: mysterium o Theos] 19 times in his writings, six times in Ephesians alone. But what is this secret of God? Continue reading

God’s Dream of Unity

In One Accord.   Imagine for a moment the discordant, jangling of trumpets, flutes and violins, all  tuning to different keys, warming up to perform a concert. Can you hear it? Suddenly there’s a tapping as the maestro flourishes his wand. It comes down and the harsh discord miraculously transforms into an exquisite sound, flooding  the auditorium with the wonder of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. These are no longer just individual instruments,  but have joined as a single entity, under one head, uniting in perfect harmony.    Continue reading

Seven Principles to Help a Congregation Thrive

Introduction: These series of posts are designed to outline the unique management style of Jesus in his ministry and the leaders of the Jerusalem church, the most successful in history. In them we find excellent models for leading churches in any era. Surprisingly, the methods are quite modern, following principles of the latest and best social science research.  More importantly, they faithfully hold to God’s Word and the leading of His Spirit. A congregation employing  these management principles may go far to successfully fulfill Christ’s mission.

Sadly, these principles and methods often fly in the face of the how churches are traditionally managed. We offer them with the prayer they will be examined and tried, which may alleviate errors in leadership that have greatly weakened the body of Christ.     Continue reading

I Am Not the Light of the World

Jesus said, ”I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me shall have the light of life.” [John 9:5)   “You together are the Light of the World.” (Mt. 5:14)

When I was a child I sang like a child, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” But when I became a man, I realized my lone little light can put out very little of this world’s darkness.   

Who Is the Light of the World? It is Jesus of course.  But is that the full story? While on earth Jesus was an individual, limited by time and space. He put out darkness where he was physically present. But Jesus is no longer here. He is in heaven by the Father’s side,  praying for his church. We are his body now, his earthly proxy, scattered throughout the world. So I am not ”the light of the world,” and you are not “the light of the world” But together we are when we are one in his Spirit.   Continue reading