United by ONE spirit

By Dr. Wayne Schmidt

Through the Spirit we live united so others may live and believe.

“The transforming presence of ONE” … I love that theme!

There is such power when spiritual practices merge with biblical and theological perspectives within The Wesleyan Church (TWC).

Oneness isn't solitary or insular. Especially in North America, with the expressive individualism so culturally dominant, we must guard against picturing the "transforming presence of ONE" as a singular person making heroic kingdom efforts. The Trinity is our eternal example -- for God the Father so loved the world that he sent his Son (John 3:16), who came to seek and save the lost. The Son finished God's work and announced it was better for him to return to heaven so the Holy Spirit could be sent to live within and empower all who receive him. Their oneness wasn't to form an eternal holy huddle. This oneness put into action their will -- that none should perish but all who will believe may receive eternal life.

This was evident at Pentecost. The Acts 1:8 promise of the Holy Spirit resulted in the transforming presence of one empowering us (the church) to be witnesses wherever we are sent. Acts 2 is very clear that oneness isn’t sameness. It’s not limited to one culture or location. Multiple nations were present and transformed at Pentecost.

Our unity isn’t in our similarity or familiarity. Unity compels us toward deep discipleship relationships with others and ignites a commitment to bring the gospel’s good news to those without access to it, the world’s unreached people groups.

When TWC was formed in 1968, our theme was “ONE … That the World May Believe.” Those gathered had a oneness with a purpose beyond themselves.


It reflected Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for oneness (unity) of the disciples who walked with him then and anticipated the disciples yet to come (John 17:11-21).

The transforming presence of ONE Spirit within us unites us in Christ, grants us likeness of mind and oneness in spirit and purpose … empowering us to engage the vision for “transforming lives, churches and communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.”