Sam the intern and I were privileged to spend some time last week in upstate NY at Elim Fellowship’s annual leadership conference—an encouraging event for sure. I came away with many good things, especially what I believe is a renewed perspective of the big picture of the U.S. church. Including, but certainly not limited to Elim Fellowship, I see a growing trend of fruitful Christian leaders (many of whom God has used to grow large churches) drawing together in an effort to address significant issues in the U.S. church. I’m not talking about some vague ecumenical movement, but rather a Christ-centered unity focused on advancing the kingdom of God in our nation. For far too long religious leaders in America have been building their own kingdoms, leading to a fractured and anemic church. Quite frankly I believe that God has had enough of such nonsense and is cleaning house by exposing those who sacrifice inward substance for outward image. It’s heartbreaking to see all of the dirty laundry aired in public, but in due season I envision the church being characterized by an integrity that has been lacking for far too long. None of us knows the full ramifications of this current course, but I do think that the trends of separating and joining will prevail for the foreseeable future. Godly believers will continue to distance themselves from ungodly movements that profess Christ only in name. And as these maturing Christians grow in God’s grace, other denominational lines and barriers will begin to be blurred. I also believe that the price of truly walking with God will grow steeper. Alignment with His truth will cost more time, money, and certainly the approval of those going with the flow of mainstream culture. The only way that we will survive such a toxic environment is to be genuinely unified with other believers. Personally I find it exciting to play a part in this encouraging trend toward Christ-based unity. Secular media is quick and deliberate to highlight the negative, but truth be told that there are innumerable godly and humble Christians who selflessly serve others because of their deep love for Christ. They are content to seek His glory and not their own. Yes, our awesome God is doing awesome things in the midst of this world’s chaos. For those who hunger and thirst for His kingdom, the best is yet to come!