17

July

Unity In Diversity

There is something that has been stirring on my heart for about half a year now. I find when God speaks to us, something He wants to teach us, it’s usually with real life examples and practical training grounds. He always gives us ample opportunity to walk out what we’re learning in real life. For me, He’s been teaching me about the value of unity in diversity. When I say diversity, I’m talking about diversity of giftings, abilities, thoughts, opinions and ideas. You’ve probably noticed that within the church, there is a wide variety of people that have many different opinions, styles of doing things and ways of operating in ministry. This can be frustrating when we are part of a team and not everyone feels the same way we do. However, imagine the frustration if everyone operated exactly like you do!

The fact is, the diversity within churches is a beautiful thing and it’s how God designed it. He made us all unique so we can learn to work together, despite our differences, like a body (see 1 Corinthians 12) to accomplish great things for His kingdom. But, the learning to work together part is the hard part, but it is so rewarding when we do!

We all know this scripture and we know we need to work together, but what I’m specifically talking about is when we gather together with our ministry team (or any group we are serving with) and we have differing opinions on a specific decision. This is a situation where it can be really tough when our idea or opinion is not the chosen one. From this point forward, we have two options. One, we can say everything we need to say and contribute respectfully to the decision making process and once a final decision is made, get behind the decision, for the sake of unity and present a unified front beyond the walls of your group meeting. Or two, we can leave the meeting and let everyone else outside the group know how much we disagree with the decision and let them know we’re not in agreeance. For most of us, myself included, we are very tempted to do the second.

Sometimes, we can justify our defence of our position in that we need to keep our integrity intact and let everyone know that we would never have voted for such an option. However, we know that the Kingdom of God functions at its best in the unity of believers (see Ephesians 4). What we need to understand, is the power of presenting a unified front with our team. Our integrity is intact, because we did our best to argue our position within the group and push for the decision we felt was best. However, we don’t always have the full picture and what is better for the group, on the whole, is that we come together in unity, supporting the decision that was made by the collective.

It’s not always easy, but ministry is not ever easy. Life in fellowship and community is not always easy. But tell me something worthwhile in life that is easy to attain! Let’s look inward and ask ourselves how we can be the ones that bring unity in our church and ministry groups. After all, Jesus prayed this very powerful prayer and I’m sure He meant it: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:20-23

-Kristjen Hull

Missions Director