While reading 3 John, I was impressed by the story of a man named Gaius, whose life and actions reflected what kingdom partnership looks like. His conduct in welcoming Christian leaders into his home when he did not personally know them, and his generosity in helping them on their journey, is a great example for all of us today.
The apostle John said to Gaius: “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you” (v. 5, NIV).
I met a man like Gaius a few years back. His name is Lewis Bowers and, at that time, he was the pastor of Trinity Foursquare Church in Toluca Lake, Calif. Through a mutual acquaintance, Lewis and I met for lunch to discuss a potential kingdom partnership.
What if we could unite and bring together two congregations with the goal of forming a multicultural church? After a time of prayer and sensing the Lord’s blessing, we moved ahead with the plan.
I can draw many lessons from that season, but the one thing that reminds me of Gaius is how Lewis welcomed strangers to his congregation. Who were these strangers? They were people from all walks of life, but not necessarily people who “matched” Trinity’s mostly Anglo congregation. During that transition, his church received people who originated from Mexico, Central America and many other nations.
I also was one of those strangers, but Lewis adopted me as a son. Even during the most difficult time in the merging process, he stood for all of us, as a father stands to protect his own children. It took a lot of courage for him to see the process through to the end.
The result of this kingdom partnership is now a growing and dynamic multicultural congregation named WorshipWalk (Toluca Lake Foursquare Church). We are serving people from all different cultural backgrounds, and we’ve also become a resource church for other pastors and leaders specially serving our Hispanic congregation members.
We need more leaders like Gaius and Lewis, leaders who are willing to live unselfish and generous lives. We need more kingdom partnerships. Imagine what could happen if leaders began to work together for the cause of the kingdom and if churches got together to accomplish something great for their communities and cities.
I believe this is happening already. God is stirring the hearts of leaders to see His kingdom come and His will be done on Earth. My prayer for us is that we also can answer the call to kingdom partnership in our lives and our churches.