A look back on the people that influenced and impacted my life in 2010.
Sometimes I wonder how I ever got involved with something. I think about my work in China. When I first went to China, in January 2000, I had no idea that I’d continue to be involved with that nation. That through my work, two churches would start partnerships there, hundreds of people would go on short-term trips, and families would adopt orphans.
This past year, I had a similar thought when the ties between Christ Community Church and Core Community were strengthened.
I wrote about this earlier in 2010, but I continue to think about the impact of the churches being on great terms. Different people from CCC and Core have continued to meet. They’ve been working together on their approach to counseling and recover ministries. I think that’s great.
My friendships with a number of people from Core Community continue to grow. I’m encouraged by what God is doing in their church, and by their outreach and service to the community. I’m also a fan of Acts 29 Network, so I appreciate Core’s approach to a number of things since they are a member of the network.
Why is this such a big deal to me? Well, unity is something Jesus asks of Christians. Not at forsaking doctrine, but we should strive for unity. As the saying goes, or as the Black Eyed Sceva lyric is sung:
Unity in what is essential
Liberty in non-essential
And in all things charity
About ten years ago, my wife and I endured a ministry split when we were missionaries. I still think a number of the arguments could have been resolved sensibly, but back then it was not going to happen. Friendships were ended over the split, ministries became ineffective for a time, all because of people not being able to work things out amicably. People’s pride wouldn’t allow it. Secondary issues became lightning rods for individuals.
The experience left an indelible mark on me. I told myself I wasn’t going to fight over secondary issues with people. I wasn’t going to let my pride get in the way of important matters.
I think those experiences are a reason why I was one of the individuals used to help bring CCC and Core closer together. Because at the heart of it, both churches love Jesus, love people, and want to serve the community as best they can.
When Ethan and Matthew were a part of CCC’s staff prayer in June, it was a low-key event. However, I think the positive impact of that time will continue to ripple out into both churches and Omaha.
I look forward to working and interacting more with Core in the future.