Same but different - Hope 103.2

Same but different

By David ReayThursday 18 May 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Galatians 3:28

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Some years ago, the term ‘homogenous unit’ was used in describing how a church might grow. The conclusion was that churches were most likely to numerically grow if the people were much like one another in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic status, and even age. While there was data to support such a conclusion, many wondered if the resulting numerical gain was worth it.

Do we do best to segregate ages and cultures? In some ways it makes sense: the language we use and the songs we sing may drive us to gatherings of people of the same age or race. Young people need a peer group; young families need child-friendly gatherings; non-English speakers need to experience the gospel message in a comprehensible way.

And yet, we dare not simply cluster into like-minded subgroups. We need to gather also as a wider body of very diverse people. We do need to express our distinctiveness, but also our unity in Christ—as our text today reminds us. If everyone at church is just like me, I am missing out on something that makes the church very special. I might be tempted to think that God favours my subculture over others. I might be deliberately avoiding the challenges of mixing with people who are not like me at all.

We experience the deepest Christian fellowship when the only thing we have in common is our common belonging to God through Jesus.

David Reay