In defining the word unity, Webster’s dictionary lists one of the definitions as “all of the parts or elements working as a harmonious whole and producing a single general effect.” The word unity comes from the Latin unitas, which means “a state of oneness.” Oneness certainly describes what we strive for within the context of the mission of the church. Notably, Webster also lists the word diversity as an antonym of unity. While technically correct, I’d propose that within the broader context of an organization, and specifically within our church body, the two words are complimentary when discussing culture.
Spencerville Church enjoys an amazingly diverse selection of individual cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds, all coming together to worship in celebration of our “oneness” with God through Christ. It brings my heart joy to witness this broad cultural representation every week. Diversity is a powerful asset to our church, and I, like the rest of the pastoral staff, praise God for it.
While I’m thankful for our diversity, creating a culture of unity within that diversity is an endeavor that requires intentionality. And it must be noted that before we can achieve any semblance of unity with one another, each of us must first seek unity with Jesus. It must be a daily priority within the heart of each person.
One author said it this way:
“Among human beings as well as among the things of the natural world, there is diversity. Unity in diversity among God’s children—the manifestation of love and forbearance in spite of a difference of disposition—this is the testimony that God sent His Son into the world to save sinners. In unity, there is strength; in division, there is weakness. The closer our union with Christ, the closer will be our union with one another.”E.G. White, Our Father Cares, p. 36
Our church is enjoying an amazing period of growth. We labor and seek, by God’s grace, to continue that trend. As growth occurs, each of us must remain committed to unity with our heavenly Source, unifying ourselves with Him so that we can unify ourselves with each another. Unity like this will allow us to work harmoniously toward the mission of the church—making Jesus better known and better loved—within our homes, schools, places of work, and our communities.