Published May 13, 2019 at 12:38 PM
These past few weeks we have talked about some of the issues that are literally killing the church. Behaviors and patterns of thinking that hold the church back from fulfilling its mission. The last week of this series we will be talking about cooperation. This word is key for a church or any organization for that matter to thrive and succeed. A few years ago I remember someone saying, "we use to agree on everything before we made a decision." Many of us have the expectation for our church to be healthy that translates into everyone agreeing on everything. Anyone married for more than a day knows that this isn't true. Although we do marry people who share similarities... we also know we marry people that are oftentimes opposite of us. The old adage opposites attract is true. When God saw Adam was lonely didn't create a clone but instead created a suitable partner. A partner that was different than him. We sometimes misdefine the word cooperation to mean "agree to disagree" or "coexist." But it is widely different than these phrases. Cooperation is working together with a variety of disagreements and opinions and discovering a way to accomplish the same end. For the church, this is to love God and love others. How we do it varies widely... but all of us... are moving towards this end. Yet this way is hard. It is why many of us are defensive about how we think the church ought to operate. We tend to gravitate towards the idea of uniformity way more than we do cooperation. We try to get those that think like us on our side and to push our agenda. Because cooperating with a different opinion isn't easy. And yet when the marriage fails to cooperate... divorce becomes inevitable... regardless of the issue. And the mission of Jesus Christ crumbles when people in the Church no longer work together.