Our series this month is analyzing how we as the body of Christ can become more like the divine Trinity. When the Trinity went to work, they said, “Let us.” There was not a “let me” or an “I” in their intentions. There was only “us.”
The body of Christ does not work that same way. Most of the time we find ourselves fragmented, either willingly or subconsciously. We are fragmented based on the color of our parishioners’ skin. We are fragmented based on doctrinal beliefs. We are fragmented based on a myriad of details that ultimately do not matter in the Kingdom of God.
Yet, we often find ourselves segregated from those who are unlike us. In this segregation, we are not only depriving ourselves from a richer worship experience but we are depriving others of it as well.
One of the main worries that churches have when they are asked to partner with another that is different from them is that they don’t want to lose their own culture through that partnership. The church does things the way they want them to be done and don’t want to see another church change anything. While there may be some things that would be better off changed, the partnering churches must learn to maintain respect between themselves by protecting the diversity they find in each other.
Change may occur organically, but should not occur forcefully. Nor should change be manipulated through either church.
Instead of wanting to change one another, focus on what unifies the two churches in the first place. Are both churches urban centers of worship? Or are they rural? Do both churches have similar worship styles? Sometimes the only unifying factor is that the churches both belief in Jesus. And that’s alright. Roll with that since that is the supreme unifying factor in all of Christianity.
How do we unify while still maintaining diversity? We respect each other and desire to partner with one another based on a love of Christ first and foremost while not wanting to “change” another church. With respect as a primary function, we see that unity within diversity is not only possible but easily accomplished.