Changing Focus, From Spiritual Community to Movement

Published on: June 1, 2013

Views: 1100

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone

I wonder what would happen if we in Unity Worldwide Ministries began to see ourselves differently. Don’t we currently see ourselves as an organization of Unity communities and centers whose main focus is to provide the best spiritual community experience possible for our congregations? (And that’s not bad.) What if we saw ourselves evolving into local centers of activities and resources focused on “advancing the movement started by Jesus Christ”? It’s the “movement” to transform the world through the engagement of more and more people in the shared spiritual awakening experience.

In Unity and New Thought, spiritual awakening and development is usually defined as the transcendence of the individual human ego by the emergence of the higher—Christ—self. Could it be that the higher, awakened Christ self, when shared in relationship with others who are developing spiritually, may be the primary way—the Christ way—that God will address the needs and prayers of humankind?

Thus, the more people sharing that experience, the greater capacity the Christ (God as us) will have to address the needs and prayers of humanity with compassion and wisdom. I think that’s why Jesus started the movement. I don’t believe he recruited his twelve disciples to create a local spiritual community. I think he shared his experience with them to initiate a movement to transform human nature and the world.

In Unity and New Thought, we are well positioned to expand that movement because of our view of Jesus as the Way Shower to Christ consciousness. I think most people feel as I do that this is a very individual and personal experience. Yet, I am convinced that sharing the experience with an expanding number of people will be the way the Christ (God as us) will answer our prayers and transform our world.

With his twelve disciples, Jesus started the movement to do exactly that. He called it the coming Kingdom of Heaven/God. His final instructions to his disciples were about advancing the movement. This is what he said, according to the gospel of Matthew: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20)

According to the book of John, Jesus also said: “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.…” (John 14:12)  These are the words that attracted me to Unity. But, I no longer think he was talking about walking on water or raising the dead. Those would be tough acts to surpass. I believe he was talking about what we will do to advance the work he started, the movement in which shared Christ consciousness would be the salvation of humankind. He may have actually realized that future human beings would be able to do more to advance the movement than he was able to do in his day and age! And, that’s us! Making the shift from a “spiritual community” focus to a “movement” focus might bring us into greater alignment with Jesus’ intention and ultimately with God.

I also know that many of us are resistant to anything that looks like evangelizing or proselytizing, and for good reason. Yet, I believe we can focus on advancing the movement started by Jesus without engaging in many of the practices we have found objectionable. Doing that would take the idea of Christ as the answer to prayer to another level, wouldn’t it? And, I wonder if that might be the rebirth, the resurrection, many of us in Unity Worldwide Ministries are praying for.

Barry Vennard
Rev Barry Vennard is a Unity minister, a transitional ministry specialist, peaceworker and author. Barry is available to lead workshops and retreats based on his book, Stepping Through the Narrow Gate: Personal Transformation Through Evolutionary Spirituality.

Has This Post Helped You Grow?

"Advancing the movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity, a positive path for spiritual living."

Comments are closed.