Consider the arenas of your life where you have unity with people very different than you. Do you work in an office of people in different life stages? Are you involved in your community? Where do you serve, and who are the people you interact with? Think about the ways you have found meaningful connections with people different than you.
Since these are concepts that define the culture of a group and not an objective to be completed, growth takes time and effort. Have a frank discussion with your group (see questions below) and allow others to take ownership of these values.
Discuss the many times and ways we see this dynamic in Scripture (Jesus and the sick in Luke 17:11–19, Paul talking to young, divided churches in Ephesians 4:1–16, Jewish and Gentile integration in Acts 15—it can be easy to forget just how remarkable the joining of these groups under the banner of Christ was).
Finally, pray that God does his work to shape the hearts of your group members. Ask him to transform your attitudes and create opportunities to bring about his glory in this specific way.
—Jon Noto is a Community Life Pastor and licensed clinical counselor at Willow Creek Community Church’s North Shore campus.
- If an outsider observed our group for a month, how would they rate us on unity? How would they rate us on diversity?
- What are 1 – 2 ways you have been blessed by another group member’s differences? Take time now to encourage them and celebrate them.
- How will we know we have grown in this area?
- How can our group be more intentional in serving and showing love to people who are different than us?