Dear Friends of Toledo Together,
The passion behind what I am doing with Toledo Together is to see Jesus’ prayer in John 17 fulfilled, “That they may all be one . . .” History has multiplied the types and numbers of different churches so that there are now well over tens of thousands of different flavors of the church. I like to refer to the different variety of churches as different keys on a piano. Not one key plays the same note, all are different and yet all are needed. The challenge is that most of us tend to think our note is better or clearer or more accurate than anyone else’s notes. Using the piano image you can see how ridiculous this conviction is. Nevertheless, that’s how we all feel. In working on Toledo Together’s mission of networking the churches to serve the people of Toledo, I have taken it upon myself to visit different fellowships (different keys on the keyboard) every Sunday (or at different times of the week when they meet to worship). I am deeply convinced this is needed in order to establish a relationship base from which Toledo Together can build.
This past Sunday I had the incredible privilege of worshiping with Toledo Restoration Church, a fellowship comprised primarily of rehabilitated drug addicts. Drug addiction does not confine itself to one particular skin color and so, as you can imagine, there were equal percentages of whites, Hispanics and blacks. What a beautiful thing. The testimonies these people had in their lives were nothing short of spectacular. Before worship started, the men prayed together, each one pacing around on the floor speaking in tongues. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced an old-school Pentecostal worship service like that – absolutely marvelous.
I’ve never been to a church fellowship where the vision of the church was so crystal clear and 100% owned by so many people. Simply put, it is to restore drug addicts to fullness through the gospel of Jesus Christ – simple, powerful, elegant, and focused.
I share these experiences with you so you can know what I am doing, so you can have, albeit a second-hand version of the tremendous variety of the church in Toledo and to help ready you for the day when indeed all the different streams flow as one river.
Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.
Love – your friend,
Networker, Toledo Together