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Strength in unity

Why should less be more?

A few days ago, we received a letter indicating the Belgium Netherlands Mission had been chosen to pilot a programme to integrate service missionaries into the traditional mission structure.

It is an exciting opportunity to reduce duplication of effort, have more aligned reporting structures and to be more unified in our missionary labours – together, as one.

As we unite, we will create an even stronger missionary force to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we read in Ephesians 4:13; “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

The Forth Road Bridge

As I considered the transition over the last few days, my thoughts returned to Scotland and the Forth Road Bridge, which is only a short distance from our home.

It was opened in 1964 and at the time was the longest suspension bridge in Europe, spanning 1005 metres across the Firth of Forth.

Suspension bridges have to be strong and tough enough to overcome a number of extreme obstacles – long distances, high winds, and water.

A suspension bridge is held up by individual wires, which when spun together make strands.

 

Several strands are then combined into giant wire cables that can hold thousands of tonnes of weight.

In a like manner, speaking figuratively, this principle is evident in our new mission structure, allowing us an opportunity to discover new strength in unity.

Unity grows when we serve together, teach each other, and encourage one another. Our hearts can be “knit together in unity and in love one towards another” – Mosiah 18:21

When it comes to structure, less, frequently is much more.

There is beauty in simplicity.

What blessings have you seen by being unified?

#Unity

Being one.

Manchester, Dundee, Leeds, Newcastle, Carlisle, Torquay and even West Ham all have something in common….. do you know what it is?
The answer…
……Football teams with the word “𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝” in their title.
Historically, football teams were often amalgamated from more than one smaller club, and then became united.
United – made into or caused to act as a single entity, agreed, in harmony, when people are united, they agree about it and act together.
How united are you – at home, with your neighbours, in your community or in your workplace?
Being united, does not mean being the same.
I know that listening closely to and learning from the perspectives and experiences of others can sometimes be very uncomfortable.
Yet doing so, helps us recognise just how much we see the world as we are rather than as it is.
It may require a change in attitude, building on our many shared common interests, but we must learn to appreciate the differences in others.
Our differences enhance our ability to work together in harmony to accomplish the most difficult of challenges.

Being United…

I have learned that we must constantly work hard at creating unity in diversity.
Working to achieve your goals all alone can be difficult, frequently you need the support of people around you to help – that is what diversity and unity is all about.
Staying united can provide us with a sense of security, support and inner strength in times of difficulty and can allow us to achieve great things.
If ever there was a time for people to stand together it is now.
There is a great power that comes as we work together with others as one.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Unity, harmony and goodwill are virtues that we can all foster in our homes, communities and business organisations. It is essential for any family, community or organisation to thrive.
J.K. Rowling said “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
What can you do to build unity?

Unity

“Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less”– John Maxwell.
Yesterday, I used this quote in a pre-conference short leadership team meeting.
Influence – “the power to have an effect on people or things, or a person or thing that is able to do this.”
Then we started our mission conference.
We shared articles, beliefs, doctrines, ideas, music, principles, quotes, scriptures, standards, stories, and many truths were told.
Then, we laughed together, we cried together, we spoke in English and in Dutch together, we prayed together, we bore testimony together.
We influenced one another.
We were united, we were 𝒐𝒏𝒆.
In my own mind’s eye, all day long I had another definition of leadership running through my head.
“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” Stephen Covey
Yes – we even inspired one other.
Serving as mission leaders is one of the most arduous, challenging, rewarding, and uplifting (all at the same time) things that we have ever, ever done.
But it is truly majestic to see, hear and witness the development of the rising generation.

Unity

Joe Biden spoke last week on #unity. We all know that in society today, you don’t have to look very far to find disunity, disharmony and distrust.

Consider this story, shared by Barbara Lewis…

“A young boy visited his uncle, a lumberjack. At the lumber camp, the boy saw a huge tree standing alone on the top of a hill. He enthusiastically pointed the tree out to his uncle, saying, “Look at that big tree! It will make a lot of good lumber, won’t it?” His uncle looked down at the boy and shook his head. “No, son, that tree will not make a lot of good lumber. It might make a lot of lumber but not a lot of good lumber. When a tree grows off by itself, too many branches grow on it. Those branches produce knots when the tree is cut into lumber. The best lumber comes from trees that grow together in groves. The trees also grow taller and straighter when they grow together.”

Similarly, so it is with all of us.

We are better individuals, more useful timber, when we grow together, unified, rather than alone. Unity begins with you! With a common goal it is the glue that holds us all together.

We build unity when we serve others, showing that we genuinely care. Unity is a critical ingredient for harmony and success.

Let’s build unity and live without disputes among us.

What holds your team together?

Evidence in the garden suggested the storm had been a rough one.

There was damage in the garden, including one of the ceramic pots which had been blown over and was broken into several pieces. My wife and I discussed our options. We determined to visit our local garden centre to purchase a replacement. However, we couldn’t settle on a new pot and instead a little later we decided to repair the broken pot and bought some glue instead. A few days later, the pot, showing its age a little, plus with some wear and tear, was repaired and functional once more, adding to the surroundings of the garden.

In a like manner, it struck me how powerful cohesion is and the importance of glue in many aspects of life, especially through this year. I considered my family, teams I’ve worked in through my career, then subsequently groups and organisations I have worked with in 2020. What is the glue, the cohesion, the bond that unites us, that keeps us sticking together and from falling apart? In life, we can choose – out with the old, in with the new or repair.

Unity, love, purpose, meaning, joy, happiness, a sense of belonging are all indicators of cohesive teams.

In your family, community, teams and organisations what is the glue that holds you together?