Yesterday we prayed for the unity of our church. Today we want to pray for the diversity of our church.
One of the common misconceptions is that unity equals uniformity—that in order to have unity we must all be the same, usually according to some human standard (e.g., race, ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, level of education, etc.). God’s desire, however, is for the church to have unity in diversity. The Church as a whole is diverse—made up of Jews and Gentiles, slaves and freemen, men and women—and yet united in common identity as believers in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). One day we will experience the Church’s diversity in all its glory as we will join “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” in praising God (Rev. 7:9ff).
On this side of heaven, not every local church will have that same racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity, as many places in the world are rather homogeneous. In America, and especially in central New Jersey, it is a different story. As the British author, G. K. Chesterton, commented nearly a century ago following his visit to the United States,
Americans have nationalities at the end of the street which for us are at the ends of the earth.
God has brought the world to our doorstep, and we betray the gospel if we extend it only to those who look, sound, and act like we do.
Pray, therefore, that our church would reflect our community—that we would reach all segments of the population around us. Pray that we would be a church for the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women, and every race, ethnicity, and native language in our area. Pray that we would not be tribal or cliquish. Pray that God would be glorified in both our unity and our diversity.