BY MAGGIE JOHNSON
I walked into a crowded room of women for the very first night of the very first women's group at our Fishers campus. The room was buzzing with chatter as people found their seats next to familiar faces, and I quickly introduced myself to the other three small group leaders, all who were more than twice my age.
I’ll admit – I was nervous. As a Millennial, it’s not uncommon for me to be dismissed by older generations, so the idea of being on a leadership team with three Baby Boomers made me feel apprehensive.
But it didn’t take long for those walls to come tumbling down.
Something happens when you’re elbows-deep in the work of the Kingdom that makes you either link arms with your co-laborers or throw in the towel. Ministry is hard stuff, and I think that’s why the Apostle Paul talked so much about unity in the Body of Christ. In Ephesians 4, Paul goes on this major rant about our oneness: “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4-6). This oneness is integral to our faith because it proves that Jesus not only overcame sin, he also helped us overcome our differences.
But the purpose of unity isn’t just to make Jesus look good. In Ephesians 4:16, Paul says, “From him (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Increased unity leads to increased maturity. Working together results in growing together.
That’s exactly what happened for our leadership team. With each passing week, our genuine care for one another strengthened. Our differences in age meant that we were able to offer differences in perspective, which came in handy since the women who attended the Women’s Edition group ranged from their 20s to their 60s. The differences that made me apprehensive became the differences that made us effective.
We serve a God whose love is not limited by our self-imposed boundaries. He stepped over my line in the sand and urged me to open my arms wider. He expanded my picture of the here-and-now Kingdom to value all generations, not just the generation I’m in. He built a faith family instead of just a friend group.
Our God is in the business of changing hearts, but he is also in the business of changing minds. He is relentless about loving us and seeing us love others well. Even in the midst of our differences – our hang-ups, hidden skeletons, and hurting hearts – we really are better together.
Get Better Together
If you are thinking about joining a group, stop waiting and sign up. We have groups for everyone; young adults, multigenerational, men, women, singles, etc.. Just remember that sometimes the best group to be in is the group that can bring more differences into your life.