Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I remember mornings where four pastors used to eat breakfast at 6 am every Saturday at the Two Trails Diner in Standish, Maine. We were diverse: one an older, bi-vocational pastor of an American Baptist Church, one and older, bi-vocational pastor of a reformed church, one a younger, bi-vocational pastor of an independent baptist church, and me, a young, full-time, new-kid-on-the-block, Southern Baptist church planter. And we made up all the evangelical churches in town, save one. And all together our congregations would have totaled about 250 in a town of 10K. Some of us had kids, some grandkids. Jim's wife died during that time, I had two children. Some of us where very conservative, some were borderline moderate/liberal. Some were denominational, some not. Some pastoring a long time, some where pretty green. Some were strongly calvinistic, some arminian, and some of us were in between.

There, used as many labels as I could.

Each week we would do what evangelical Christians do best--meet and eat. We would read a book together and discuss it. We would hold each other accountable in our ministries and families. Friendships were forged, hurts were shared, prayers were prayed, and lots of pancakes and eggs were consumed. Differences in opinions came up, and were discussed, but we realized we were on the same team. And as few of us as there were there, we didn't need to shoot each other. In fact, we had a lot of special services together, and were edified.

Seems as though now, here in the Bible Belt, we draw lots of lines. We condemn a lot of enemies in house. Denominational lines and politics shatter a lot of good fellowship. Now don't get me wrong, I do not advocate ecumenism. And I have a lot of doctrinal convictions that do divide. But sometimes I think back on the beautiful comradery of four servants engaged in a battle together for the advancement of the church and the souls of men.

Interestingly enough, that carried over into the churches. And their fellowship was similarly attractive.

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." -Jesus

I miss that often.


  1. Jason,

    Nice post. There is nothing more beautiful than unity among brothers, and nothing more ugly than disunity.

    I'm trying to live by Jesus' statement that you quoted. If he accepts someone, then that should be enough for me, even (and especially) if we disagree. As Paul said (in the context of theological disagreements), "Accept one another as Christ has accepted you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15:7 ESV)


  2. Great thoughts Jason. What do you think was the difference between the men you met with in Maine and the similar men who surround you in Georgia? Do you have any thoughts on how we can close the divides that cause us to separate in places that are unscriptural?