Looking around the room today at the women who have chosen to volunteer their time to build up the body of Christ, I was struck by the diversity. Of course, no two women in the room were exactly alike, but neither were there multiple characteristics that could be claimed by everyone in the room. We represent different ages, different geographic regions, different faith backgrounds, different family backgrounds, different passions, different hobbies, different careers, different ministries, and different experiences with global travel - just to name a few of our differences. (We weren’t even all wearing shoes at the moment I took notice!) So what do these diverse women have in common? Jesus.
That’s it. That’s the one thing that every woman in the volunteer room can claim: Jesus redeemed our souls.
There’s power in that one thing. There’s more power in that one thing than in anything else in all the world.
As we read in 1 Corinthians 12, we are joined together as one body - the body of Christ. Each of us with our different gifts and types of service has a unique and important role to play, and our activities are empowered by the One True God. In our diversity, He makes us strong. In our uniqueness, He makes us one.
Much of today’s work as a volunteer team focused on building our skills to serve, practicing prayer around the city, and preparing for the daily activities once our global workers arrive. But there was a moment before any of that occurred that focused on building us up as one team. The moment began with praising the Lord, thanking Him for all the reasons we love Him. The moment transitioned into individual prayer and reflection: a time of personal sanctuary. And it concluded with individual prayers offered by the leadership team over each volunteer.
It was this odd mix of uniqueness and unity. We approached God on His throne individually, but we did it in unison. That’s powerful!
As a first-time volunteer myself, I am so very grateful for the diverse perspectives of everyone on the team. I am so very grateful for how each team member empties herself for the good of the group. I am so very grateful for the time spent praying for and with one another. And I am so very grateful for opportunities to use the gifts God has given me to complement the gifts God has given each of my sisters.
It takes a large team to put on a retreat. It takes lots of different ideas, perspectives, hands, feet, hearts, and minds. But most importantly, it takes One.
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6