Unity is a beautiful gift. It is the Lord’s heart to see His children, unified & declaring Heaven’s promises here on the earth. Well, sometimes that isn’t always easy. Unity is a choice. Family is a choice.
Over the last four years, I have had the honor of overseeing our Alive College Ministry worship team. It has been an incredible gift, getting to partner with Holy Spirit to bring Heaven’s revival to the University of Illinois campus. We started year one with a small team, mainly of young adult volunteers, and ended year four with a fully student-led team. The Lord is faithful!
In these last two years specifically, I believe the Lord spoke a word over the worship team that we were to be the radical ones, who are unafraid & unashamed to press into the more. He specifically highlighted this verse in John 4, that says “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” As I began to pray over this verse, I simply asked the Lord, “How do we do this, Father?” He simply said to me, “Become a family.” I sensed the Lord leading us to not just be a worship team, but a worship family & that He wanted to deposit a new understanding of unity and trust in and through this group.
The truth is, becoming a family is not always easy. It requires real conversations, trust, deeply rooted faith, & intentional community. I want to share 3 practical steps that our team has used to grow together, as a unified family:
- Be Intentional
Family can’t be forced, it must be a choice. Over the last 4 years, we have experienced powerful encounters, deep heartaches, & incredible breakthroughs together, both on & off of the platform. A big component to creating this culture of family has been investing time outside of our Wednesday night services, to get to know each other on a deeper level. From family dinners to extended worship nights, to getting together for coffee, there is so much power in intentional connection.
- Speaking Truth in Love
The Lord wants to use each of us to speak His truth & life over those around us. Sometimes, that means calling others higher in areas where growth is needed. True leaders are constantly learning, changing, & are willing to learn from others. While this can be difficult, it is also where the deepest growth can happen. I have been on both sides of this and I have been changed in ways that I never could have been by myself. We have to open our hearts and allow Holy Spirit to change our hearts.
- Choose Community Over Competition
Where there is power & life, the enemy tries to sow seeds of doubt, uncertainty, and fear. When others are growing, the enemy can try to sow seeds of negativity to make us compare ourselves & doubt our own value. Comparison kills community. When we are rooted in our true identity, we see things from a whole different perspective. We don’t see each other as competition, but we see one another as the new creations that the Lord has made each of us to be. When you truly begin to see others with the heart of the Father, that is where true unity is built.
My encouragement to you today is to choose unity. Whether it is in your worship teams, your co-workers at work, or your own families, make the decision to be a catalyst for community. It is the Father’s heart for us to be unified in Him, as the body of Christ. I am forever thankful for what the Lord has built over these last 4 years and I know that each of us will carry this heart of unified family, in spirit & truth, wherever the Lord leads us in the future.
Ephesians 4:1-7 (ESV)
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”