Unity (or the lack thereof)

In a Development Department, especially in one grounded upon a shared faith, unity seems to me to be essential to effectiveness. (Maybe you’ve noticed how often the theme of unity is highlighted in the New Testament.) Unfortunately, even in faith-based organizations, the self-centeredness and pride that can destroy unity lurk not far beneath the surface — human nature being what it is.

Perhaps this corrosive effect that sin has on unity is best illustrated by the familiar joke about the man deserted on a remote island for years. When his rescuers finally arrived he was naturally overjoyed after such a long time in isolation. As he was leaving the beach for the last time, one of the rescuers looked up toward the trees and saw three huts just above the sand. “Excuse me, sir,” he said, “but I have to ask what those three huts are for.”

The man replied, “Well, the one on the left is where I live. And the one on the right is where I go to church.”

“Ah,” said the rescuer. “Well, what about the one in the middle?”

“Oh. Well, that’s where I used to go to church.”

What about you? Have you experienced the power of a unified team — or the pain of one plagued by division and disunity? Have you had to stand on principle even at the cost of unity among your colleagues? Love to hear your experiences.

2 thoughts on “Unity (or the lack thereof)”

  1. Unity can be a hard conversation to have. Too often we think of unity as compromising to the voice of authority (or the loudest voice). For me it’s helpful to know what unity looks like. Are we trying to spiritually unified, strategically, missionally? I’ve definitely been a part of projects where we are knew what we were aiming at and what everyone else’s role was and it was awesome.

    1. Great point, Jason. Like many terms we often toss around, “unity” is something of an abstraction. For simplicity’s sake I tend to think of “unity” in direct contrast to the disunity that plagues too many organizations — the kind of toxic environment where mistrust runs high and misunderstanding is epidemic. To me unity (not “uniformity”) means shared goals, shared values, mutual respect and a resulting high level of trust, so that the parts work together with minimal friction. If we’ll all try to keep the emotional bank account balance in the black, molehills seldom become mountains!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: