We are starting a new ministry year.
We are a regional church with over 1,800 people attending each week…that means over 3,000 people call ECC home. We also have 6 services in two locations with 12 music teams, rotating tech teams, a drama team, a set design team, photographers, writers and staff…It’s easy to feel disconnected.
BUT WE ARE ONE FAMILY! As Bob Kauflin writes,
“If we’re Christians, we’re already part of the family. The question then becomes where and how we work out the details of family life.”
So our theme for this next year is #unity.
One of the main ways we express our unity is by meeting together on a weekly basis to learn and to grow in the God’s Word. I think it’s easy to think we’ve got the Jesus thing covered. You can read your Bible by yourself. You can watch a service online by yourself. But the truth is that God didn’t design you to worship by yourself. The reason is that worship is an extension of the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. True worship has always been designed to be done together.
The problem is that when we get together as artists, it’s easy to get on each other’s nerves. Before I worked in the church, one of my co-workers liked to say, “The more I work with people, the more I like my dog.” And it’s true! Church ministry would be so much easier without the people. But that is another way we show God’s unity. We get to experience God’s patience and grace in those moments of frustration with other Christians. Jesus himself told us that…
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Jesus (Matt 18:20)
So when we get frustrated and yet show God’s grace, we know that Jesus is there with us. That is #unity.
It can also be hard when people are different than you. It’s challenging for students to work with adults who think they know everything and have no fashion sense (like me). It’s challenging for people of color to work with pasty, white people who assume they do things the right way (like me). But again, “God is glorified when people who have no visible connection or similarity joyfully meet together week after week,” writes Kauflin. “They do it not because they’re all the same but because the gospel has brought them together.” So we come together NOT because we’re all the same age, wear the same clothes or come from the same culture. We come together because of Jesus. That is #unity.
So this year, we are going to focus on #unity as we look for chances to see the glory of God in our differences.
This year, we are going to focus on #unity as we are changed to look more like Jesus with every increasing glory.