Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:1-3
My junior year of college I went on a mission trip across the country. We did week-long camps on various Indian reservations. It was a unique trip for a variety of reasons. We were a team of about 17 college-aged students plus 1 on a converted school bus traveling unsupervised across the country. While traveling, the girls slept on the bus, the guys slept under the bus. Most of the time, when we were at the reservations, the guys slept in the church and the girls were in host homes. We worked with Comanche Indians in Oklahoma.
One day one we almost got wiped out by a tornado. We made it to the shelter with only about a minute to spare. That was different for a bunch of Floridians. We worked with Sioux Indians in Northern Minnesota where the temperature went to freezing in the summer and Tonawanda Indians in Upstate New York where we bathed in a creek with lots of leeches.
Another thing that made it unique is that we were from two different rival Christian colleges with large theological differences. In addition to that an older 30-40-year-old lady, a dentist, and refugee from Argentina, caused a great deal of turbulence with her crazy theology. I was the group leader and “pastor” trying to keep the peace between all of us. We got along really well most of the time that summer but those theological and cultural differences were always popping up. I decided that we would read and study the book of Philippians to help lead us. It was a great book because of verses such as the one listed above.
Most arguments happen because of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But if we consider the other better than ourselves, then most problems are easily resolved. That verse goes on to say that we should not only look to our own interests but also the interests of others. Paul goes on to talk about the sacrifice of Jesus and how He humbled Himself and became a human. (one of my favorite passages in the Bible)
Churchwork is the same way as a mission trip with two rival colleges. We have a lot of people and a lot of opinions on who, what, where and why things should be done. We all have the same goal, just different ways we may think that we need to achieve it. I was able to keep our team together because, despite our differences, our goal was to lead Native American children to Christ and God honored it immensely
My prayer as a church and as families is that we will be able to remember what our main goal is, to lead people to Christ, and to disciple them to become responsible growing Christians. Let’s remember to consider others better than ourselves.