Unity has been a consistent running theme this year in my personal, as well as our team's, vision.
And it's a bit of a challenging theme to tackle. There's a lot of dynamics to the term and what it means on both the grandeur and small scale.
But as I dove into the theme further, I realize how important it is to motivate, empower, and elevate the individuals, congregations, and organizations who desire to see a positive force for change within our local communities. Each party or individual has their specific place of action, gift, or calling they specialize, and we absolutely need diverse positioning to launch our communities in to forward motion.
With all of this vague vision being said, I want to challenge the readers and supporters who are living for impact on any scale to consider the following questions and propositions with a prayerful heart. Because to see real change, real impact, real transformation, it first starts with us.
Are you leader? Each of us are leaders to someone. It could be in a small group, or to your children. Maybe just in the eyes of a friend or two, or perhaps you're a CEO, pastor, or political figure. You have a specific sphere of influence that is unique to you. Act like it matters, because it does.
Are you being a type of leader you'd like to follow? This means, is your walk matching your talk? Are you taking the position of a humble servant to launch those you lead toward success? Are you continuing to personally grow?
Are your action steps bigger than your soap box? Take for example, I'm a huge promoter of networking, evangelizing, and introducing others to the Gospel through my actions. A wise pastor then posed to me, "If you left your neighborhood, would anyone notice?" And that's when I realized my action steps were in fact not bigger than my soap box. Even though I could preach a good message, I had failed in my follow through by not reaching my very own sphere in my very own neighborhood.
Are you sharing your dreams with others, and allowing them to help bear the weight? The Holy Spirit is absolutely the author of incredible ideas! But they are not mean to stay just in your head. It's wise to grab an accountability partner to ensure your dream or vision does not get lost in the chaos of life. Also, allowing someone to help you or share in the work of your dream is good! God does provide the workers for His will to be done!
Are there areas of shame, forgiveness, and brokenness you haven't dealt with yet? Jesus did not die for us to live with one more minute of shame! Talk to a pastor, read the word, and advocate for yourself to you find the right mentor, leader, or deliverance team to help you find freedom. Turn your test into a testimony and change lives!
Is there an area of secret sin you're hanging on to? Yes, your friends and family, your church, your boss... these people may not be able to see it and it might not really be hurting anyone. But here's the truth: you are circumventing God's plan for you life by habitual secret sin. You are purposely averting God's will the people you'll impact through His call on your life. Get help, read the Word. Jesus is waiting for you to pick up your cross and follow Him.
Have you made uninformed presumptions about another organization, church, group, or individual without doing the appropriate research first? One of the biggest walls against unity is having presumptions formed about someone or something either based off someone's opinion or unfounded conclusions. Remember, organizations, churches, and groups exist ultimately to move hope, education, resources, help, and love forward. This is a common ground we all stand on. Make sure you do your due diligence and get some evidence before you toss shade at another and consider them useless.
Do you have resources that you're coveting? This can be people, time, talent, funding, knowledge, procedures models, ministries, etc. If you have a resource you're called to share and are refusing to do so out of a covetous spirit, you are inhibiting unity and blocking an avenue of movement in the community. Again, we all stand on a form of common ground and coveting your resources is hurting yourself and others.
Non-profits, churches, state funded programs, and do gooders alike absolutely have to find unity. Not sameness, but the sense of purpose that we all matter in our unique niche, and we are each highly necessary to see true impact take place without Central Wisconsin. So please friends, analyze yourself, your team, and your org and see if you are making the most effective impact as is.
We can't do this without one another. We can't do this without unity.
But together, transformation is possible.