Collaboration and unity have been on my mind a lot lately. As we’ve been leading up to the One Conference last week, it’s been interesting to think about what can be accomplished when different parts of the body of Christ come together.
The One Conference was a powerful time of learning and diving deep into God’s Word and hearing from incredible Christian leaders from around North America. As someone that had various responsibilities during the conference, it can sometimes be hard to pull myself out of work mode and into learning mode, but every time I walked into a session I really felt that God was working in that room. Even if I had to focus on taking photos or posting to social media, I left each space inspired about what I’d seen happening there.
However, what happens at One Conference is just the first step. It can be comfortable and easy to grow, learn, and deepen your faith while surrounded by other Christians. The real challenge comes afterward. The ‘now what’.
While I was thinking about this, I was struck by a recent story that we explored in Calgary during Grey Cup week a couple of months ago. Two of our ministries, Athletes in Action and Connecting Streams, partnered together to engage in thirteen different outreach events in the city. Here’s a recent video of one of those experiences:
During this week, approximately 80 people encountered Jesus and committed their lives to Him. This could not have happened without the collaborative work between AIA and Connecting Streams. As Anita Thiessen says at the end of the video, “It’s not about our individual ministries, it’s about furthering the kingdom of God.” By working together, they were able to lean on each other’s strengths to accomplish something much greater and wider than they could have done on their own. By uniting, they became bigger than their own team.
What happened in Calgary was a perfect foreshadowing of what needs to happen every time the body of Christ comes together and then goes out into the world. It’s not enough to gather together, worship, and then go back to our separate churches and jobs. The next step requires unity too. We all have incredible strengths and differences that are critical to bringing the gospel to more people in Canada. God has a plan for each of our lives and we all have a part to play in bringing forth the Great Commission.
Now imagine what can be done if we partner together in our communities to do that. Churches with churches, people with people. It’s easy to be united when we grow and learn together at a conference, but it’s even more important to be united when we serve and love the people around us. That’s the unity that the world sees and that’s the unity that can multiply changed lives.