UNITY is so key in the success of any goal, mission, or objective. No one will be able to succeed at the highest degree with dissension between team members, family members, coworkers, peers, friends, etc. Going beyond success even, we as humans are unable to live in a harmonious and peaceful environment when we push one another away or shut others out. We must COME TOGETHER in order to live peaceful and successful lives filled with joy and hope. We need each other in this crazy world. We need to combat the Enemy and his despair, fear, and pride. God knows this, so He gave us each other - to battle alongside one another and hold our brothers and sisters up when they are too weak to stand.
We have to come together. We have to fight together. We have to stand together.
Together we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Christ who loved us! I love in Romans 8:37 where it says "we are more than conquerors THROUGH him [Christ]". It is through Christ Jesus that we are united and are made into one victorious body. It's the ultimate call to unity from our King himself! Romans 12 compares each of us to members of a body [an arm, a leg, an armpit 😜, etc] with the whole lot of us being formed into one body through Christ that functions perfectly when working together in unity. It's a beautiful intricate plan that only our ingenious Creator could design.
So here's what I propose we all do...
1] We need to stop pushing others away. We need to be open and honest with what's going on in our lives, in our heads, and in our hearts [yes, even that ugly stuff, but the beautiful, too!] This step of honesty and transparency is the first and most important step to coming together. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you give others permission to do the same. You open up a safe environment through your candidness.
2] We have to accept others. When we open that safe environment, we then need to be accepting of others and what they bring to the table. Loving and accepting someone wholly is done by knowing them [like really knowing them] and not rejecting them. This absolutely doesn't mean to compromise your values and beliefs. It doesn't mean you tolerate what The Word tells us is sinful or wrong, but it means you don't spew hatred to anyone for any reason. It is entirely possible to love someone while hating the sin they may be living in. Do you think Jesus loved the sexual immorality the woman at the well was all mixed up in? No! But did Jesus still love that woman and show her kindness and acceptance? Yes! Did He say what she is living in is ok? No! But did He still offer her His gift of living water freely? Yes!
3] We need to lay down our pride. Pride is the biggest barrier to unity. It is something we must combat every day. Pride keeps us from being vulnerable and exposing weakness. Pride doesn't allow us to accept and love others because of our own image or selfish desires. Proverbs 16:18 tells us, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." That is the complete opposite of what we want here. We want to be victorious! So drop the prideful attitude and take up a mindset of unity. Lay your pride at the foot of the cross and take your place in the body of Christ working in perfect unity with its other members.
TOGETHER we can do GREAT things!
On the note of coming together and uniting, I want to touch on the change with our free MTC After-School Programs. We are uniting! We are bringing together the 4th-6th grade program and the 7th-8th grade program to form one large power program! Get ready for an exciting semester...
We aren't just doing this on a whim. We have spent thoughtful time in prayer and discussion individually and as a group. The idea of combining was prompted by the possibility of expansion to other school districts coming to us. We decided combining would help if the occasion should arise that one of our leaders would need to help establish a new program. This is where we feel God has led us to for the Spring Semester program. Obviously there will be challenges with the change; however, we are so excited to all be under the same roof. It is incredible what can happen when we come together and pool our resources.
One thing I know I am very grateful for is the amount of adults that we will be able to have there together by bringing both programs to one location. It can be a struggle to always get the support, reprieve, and time with the kids you need as a leader, so being where we will always have at least three adult leaders will be incredibly helpful.
There are many benefits to combining, and as I said before, coming together amps up power and strength. Here are a few benefits and reasons for creating one power program:
More adults present
Middle School hours extend from 5pm to 6pm
INT-MS interactions and friendships ease entering into Middle School in the future
More opportunities for youth to take on leadership roles
Siblings picked up in the same place
Unity of all MTC kids & leaders