Together For A Shared Future

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Yesterday was the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The motto was announced: ’Together for a Shared Future’. It’s a good principle – facing challenges together in community… families, work-places, schools… and churches…

My Christian convictions are big on Christian unity. St Paul wrote about the ‘unity of the Spirit… one body… one hope… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…’ He’d be up for ‘Together for a Shared Future’.

I spoke with two friends yesterday. Each has felt upset, disappointed, hurt by their church. They haven’t experienced the unity of ‘together’; they’ve felt that others in their church don’t want a ‘shared future’.

I look back over the past 20 years and recall many, many friends who’ve had similar church experiences. They’ve gone through times of personal crisis, division, rejection, criticism… resulting in feelings of hurt, isolation, humiliation, anger, depression…

Musing… Yesterday I read Tim Wyatt’s article ‘Crisis Communications’. He deals with some of these issues… His thoughts and my experiences lead me to four conclusions:

We need more humility. Too often I’m defensive – showing why I’m right, how I’ve been wronged, that my cause is just. I need to face my weakness, failing… listen to the needs and hurt of the other… be the first to apologise…

We must promote honesty and complete truth… a total transparency that doesn’t cover over mistakes… an immediate admission of wrongdoing… openly seeing both sides of the argument…

People are more important than any organisation. Recognising, acknowledging and caring for people who have been hurt is more important that defending the reputation of the church institution.   

Somehow my God brings surprises. He’s bigger than human mistakes. Through rejection and pain can come fresh opportunities and hope. For the Christian this is seen supremely in the death and resurrection of Jesus…

Musing… I still believe that through crisis and despair there can be transformation and new-life. Jesus’ followers can still be ‘Together for a shared future’.

5 thoughts on “Together For A Shared Future

  1. Thanks Lynn. I was challenged by one minister who as part of her ‘church membership’ classes said openly that you will be upset and disappointed by people in the church… It’s how you cope with that, that is most important….

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