Our church recently did a Vacation Bible School/summer day camp event for the kids. It’s the biggest event of the year and last year I was really blown away by the excellence of the event, the people serving, and the great time and lessons the kids had. Here are some pictures from last year:
This year we blew the event out of the water. Besides a major curriculum change, there were new elements incorporated into the program that made it over the top. I personally had a blast helping with the event and seeing God use it to impact so many kids’ lives.
However, one of the things that was unexpected was that there was one element (out ofquite a number) that really contributed to the event feeling like it was being brought to another level. If you look at the picture below, you can see what it is.
I know this sounds silly and shallow but it was — T-shirts!
It was very cool to step into the environment where I was met by a sea of color. All the kids wore a color depending on their age and the volunteers all wore red. I loved it when the volunteers gathered for prayer in the morning — united in Spirit but also united in color!
Now, this blog is not all about promoting that everyone needs to wear T-shirts at events. What this helped me realize was the impact that is made when everyone is unified. The T-shirts helped develop a sense of belonging, unity, energy and excitement. Everyone knew why they were there and where they belonged.
It is a great reminder of the principle of being unity.Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Eph. 4:3 The T-shirts to me were a picture of the spiritual truth that when we are united together, we are better together:
- In a world oversaturated with messages, when we proclaim one message, we cut through the clutter.
- When everyone focuses together, we get more done.
- When we all put our hands to the same thing, the work gets done faster.
- When one falls, the other holds that person up.
- When everyone lives Christlike lives, people take notice.
- When we all point to Christ, we help people focus on what is really important.
The enemy knows about the power of unity and that is why he tries to undermine it. His hope is that the church will fail.“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” – Mark 3:24-25
I’m not talking about conformity, because the body of Christ is diverse and we celebrate its diversity. But God’s desire is us to be united in heart and mind for Him and His Kingdom.
As leaders, one of our huge challenges is nurturing unity. Sometimes leadership feels like herding cats. Here are some of the ways leaders create unity:
- Vision casting of vision and values
- Teaching from the Word
- 1 on 1 conversations
- Clarity in expectations and goals
- Continued communication and feedback
What are some ways that you have found promote unity?
I’ll end with my favorite picture… the info center/command center where I hung out most of the event. When I walked to the other side, I noticed how professional everyone looked in their red shirts. And then I got a kick out of everyone using the same computer too!