Crushing On Diversity…
Posted by Brandi Wilson
It’s only been the last few years that I’ve gotten more involved in ministry outside the walls of our church. As we planted churches I was originally busy finishing up degrees and working as a teacher, then growing our family. Just recently have I really moved outside of the perimeter of what we have going on in Nashville to get to know more of you.
There have been many joys with getting to know so many of you… I could create a list a foot long, but today I want to talk about our diversity. The community group I’m a part of at our church recently finished the study “Mercy Triumphs” which is a study of the book of James written by Beth Moore (and articles by Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick, she’s a genius I tell ya). During the study God really solidified my thought process on something that I have felt blessed to embrace.
If you’ve read this blog for very long you know I grew up Southern Baptist in a small, traditional church. I love my childhood church and my parents still attend there today. That church was very formative in who I am. But as I grew into an adult I wasn’t familiar with many different church styles. Even as a college student I attended a great church… that stylistically looked like the church I had grown up in.
As I’ve ventured more into ministry I have been delighted to see the different varieties of how our churches worship, how our churches serve, how our churches impact those around us. To really embrace that we might do things very differently, yet are all serving the same Kingdom.
Honestly, this is painful to admit, but years ago I might have been judgemental toward differences… judgemental toward diversity. I would have even thought there was a “best” way to make an impact. I love how much God has taught me in this area. Christian culture is often divided… but my heart springs with joy when I see it woven together and appreciation shown amongst churches.
Of course, Beth said it more eloquently than me in her James study when she was discussing James and Paul and how vastly different their ministries were. She’s focusing on Galatians 2:9 where the “right hand of fellowship” was extended between the “pillars.”
This wasn’t the handshake of a greeting. It was the handshake of agreement. In this context, it signified a mutual blessing of sorts and a bond to serve the same Lord in two vastly different but equally critical directions.
In many ways our churches are vastly different… but all of our service is equally crucial.
Let’s celebrate our differences and the unique callings God has for each of us and our churches. Different churches reach different people. Different ministeries make different impacts. We’re on the same team, working toward a very critical blessing.