I love diversity! I think how boring life would be if everything was the same! Yet, for most people, having differences can cause difficulty. Being who we are, we find it difficult to accept others who are different to us, and in particular, when they do things differently to us. We often mistakenly think that there is only one to do this or that! How insecure we can become when placed beside people who may share the same foundational truths as us and yet act out these truths in ways that are very different to what we would do! I become quite alarmed when I sit with people who are very much like me … I need to be challenged in my thinking and the way I do things! I need creative people surrounding me to help me grow and understand that God is a God of diversity! Just look at His amazing creation!
In my humble opinion, the local church can sometimes become a meeting place of ‘clones’ where people are restricted in doing things the same way for generations! The church in Corinth was such a church that needed to be reminded that people are different and that God had made them different for a reason. He gave them different personalities, different gifts and talents. Each person is unique and different to another. And whilst each person has their own DNA, different personalities, different gifts, talents and skills, they are just one part of a much larger body … the body of Christ … His church!
A local church rises or falls on whether it is one body that comprises brothers and sisters with diverse gifts and talents. A church that has people who all the same is dysfunctional and lacks the diversity that God clearly created and intended. The challenge is for this diverse group to realize and accept each other’s differences and diversity and then intentionally and skillfully work together for the glory of God. I love witnessing people who have the same ministry being set free to use different methods, styles and ways. This is something that we must embrace if we are to be effective in reaching out to the different nations gathered here in Kogarah and adjoining suburbs!