World Conference 2023

We Are One, We Are Many

28 May 2023

By David Nii, Council of Twelve Apostles

For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13 NRSV

In the last twenty years, growing numbers of people are recognizing the need to move away from the outdated metaphor of a “well-oiled machine” as an ideal for how groups, organizations, and life best operate.

This mechanistic imagery promotes a static view of people as cogs in a wheel of an unhealthy stagnation ideal. This continuous sameness survives by crushing anything different as an imperfection or abnormality. This imagery does not enliven our present-day movement as the body of Christ.

Organic metaphors—ones in which differences not only are expected but often valued as inherent traits of life—are becoming much more relevant. Static machinery ideals are replaced with images of the wildness of nature, unpredictable growth, and new pathways with surprising twists, turns, and adventure.

Unhealthy and unrealistic striving for precise lives and circumstances of continuity and sameness are supplanted by celebrating life that shifts, changes, and evolves. Lives are inspired and empowered through surprising, diverse, emerging, and interconnected communities. They foster compassion, hospitality, Worth of All Persons, and service for and with others. The essence of drinking the one Spirit of God is experiencing the infinite possibilities that lie beyond the horizons of our finite comprehension.

When I envision our ongoing journey with Christ, I recognize my need to release unhelpful images and barriers of classifications and separation. Being enveloped in the Spirit and baptized into the body of Christ invites me to see, hear, love, and encounter creation as Christ sees, hears, loves, and encounters.

Christ sees each one as beloved—not as nameless cogs in a wheel. The Spirit invites and empowers us to be awake and responsive to the present, yet aware of and alive in the eternity of God.

Prayer Phrase

Today, how will I courageously walk with Jesus, the peaceful One?

Spiritual Practice

Discerning Future Leadership

Pray: Prayerfully explore the church’s current situation and the world in which leadership will occur. Consider the question from your context while also being mindful of the church’s global context. What are the most significant situations, opportunities, or challenges that a prophetic leader will need to address? 

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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