While singing a worship song that I loved, I looked around the auditorium to see everyone else’s joy at the moment. What I saw was disappointing. Remarkably few people seemed to be enjoying the music the same way in which I was.
A little confused I then took the opportunity to do a little survey. With each song, I would take a quick look around to gauge the enthusiasm with every song. All of the songs, from hymns to chorus’, brought a different reaction. One group loved this song; another group enjoyed that song, some songs were liked by everyone while others seem to be hated by all.
As I watched this all unfold before my eyes, one simple thought became clear in my mind: Someone in the Church enjoys the exact opposite things as me. Each week the songs that you have the most profound emotional connection with are hated by other people. You can expand that truth out even further in the application. That program that the Church puts on that you can’t wait for each year, someone else dreads it. That class that you think is so beneficial, someone else finds it worthless. That person that you find so endearing, other people find annoying.
While this truth drives me crazy at times, I think that it is one of the most genius moves of God.
Think about it …
1. Our differences make us focus on Jesus.
The Church is a gathering of people brought together by Jesus. We are not a social club or a community action group; we are Christ followers. Every time I wonder why God brought together this group of people, he reminds me that Jesus is the reason we are a part of this group and nothing else.
2. Our differences allow us to connect with everyone.
If we were all the same, then we would only have appeal to people who are like us. Because the church is this mish-mash collection of people, we can share the gospel with everyone.
3. Our differences force us not be selfish.
I think that this maybe is the most significant benefits and challenges. Each week I must submit my will to the desires of the group. I have to say to myself, “I don’t like this, but I bet someone does.” If I want to see all people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then I will put my preferences behind other people’s. For the sake of the gospel, I force myself to surrender my will for the benefit of others.
I am glad we are not all the same. What a dull gathering that would be each week. Instead, God places us in a community of people who enjoy things I despise for the betterment of all of us. It may drive us crazy at times, but it also stretches to become more like Jesus.