Authors show how natural phenomenon provides example for Christ followers
BRUNSWICK, Georgia, July 31, 2018 – In the new book “Designed for More: Unleashing Christ’s Vision for Unity in a Deeply Divided World,” Lucas Ramirez, non-profit executive and speaker, with Mike DeVito, draws from new research on the natural phenomenon called a “murmuration” to reveal lessons for how Christians may move forward in unity.
A murmuration occurs when hundreds of thousands of birds, specifically flocking starlings, move in a sweeping, synchronized motion. According to the authors of “Designed for More,” this natural occurrence is not just a metaphor but an intricately researched roadmap for the biblical mandate for unity within the Church.
“Unity is when all followers of Jesus realize their interconnectedness and pursue the oneness as seen in the Triune God in order to become one with God and with each other—for His glory and the expansion of His kingdom,” writes Ramirez. “The truth is that if we want to care for the poor, welcome strangers, seek justice, clothe the naked, and preach the Gospel most effectively, we need unity.”
The authors recognize that many people believe that the word “unity” has become tired and overused. Unity is not a major priority in our Christian communities. Yet, they argue that Jesus Christ placed immense importance on the idea of unity, making it the focal point of His last prayers on Earth.
“Jesus prayed for unity so that the world will know He is Lord,” said Ramirez. “And if God wants to use the unity of the Church as a means of showing the world His awesome love and restorative power, it doesn’t fit for that to be something that is saved just for a quick snapshot at the end of time for all to see. It is something that needs to happen now.”
The idea of unity may even seem unattainable by many in the Church. According to Ramirez, there are approximately 2 billion people worldwide that claim to follow Christ, yet from the outside, the Church has never looked more fractured. The book notes how churches frequently divide along the lines of theology, ideology, culture, gender, race, political views and socioeconomic status. As a result, the Church looks a lot like the world around us: deeply fractured. “Designed for More” teaches readers that unity is the only way for the Church to be the culture shifting fellowship it was designed to be.
“This book is not a prescription for a new model of ministry,” writes Ramirez. “Rather, it is an invitation for the Body of Christ to discover God’s great passion for unity and see the bigger picture so that we can finally operate within our true design.”
“Designed for More” is divided into three parts. The first section establishes God’s design for unity, why it is important, what the Bible says about unity and our current reality of division in the Church. The second section dives deeper into murmurations, illuminating the seven principles they teach: relationships, communication, strategy, shared resources, leadership, contribution and critical mass. The final section shares lessons learned from over 40 years of combined ministry experience to help individuals and leaders move from the fragmented Church toward God’s design.
“Designed for More” is also clear about what unity is not. It is not conformity; it is not compromise; it does not mean the church can’t make strong belief statements, and it does not come at the expense of purity in the church.
“God wants to use the unity of the Church as a means of showing the world His awesome love and restorative power,” Ramirez writes. “This road toward unity will require lionhearted radical optimism, but if we are to learn how to fly together, we must remember this is God’s plan.”
This book calls every Christian to consider how, through collective movement, they can bring about Christ's daring vision for unity in the Church to impact the world like never before.
Ramirez coined the phrase, “Birds taught us to fly; now they will teach us to unify.”
About Lucas Ramirez:
Lucas Ramirez is a non-profit executive, author and keynote speaker to a diverse group of audiences including students, politicians, CEOs, educators, pastors and leaders. He has spoken at venues such as Catalyst Conference, TEDx, and the Georgia House of Representatives and has been featured on Fox & Friends. He is an organizational leadership expert and loves sharing and learning new ideas.
Lucas Ramirez immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six. His personal experience of finding his place in a new land, as well as ministry leadership, provides him with a unique perspective on issues of unity. This, combined with biblical truths and scientific research, form the basis of “Designed for More.”