Acts 4:32: “All the believers were one in heart and mind.”
The early church included a diverse group of individuals: Jews, Greeks, Barbarians, Scythians, slaves and freemen. It was very similar to the polarized groups we encounter today. Jesus prayed that they would be unified, combating one of the greatest challenges to the Church: unity without commonality, unity in the face of stark differences, unity, not on the basis of truth, but of love. His prayer was not just for the early Christians, but for us as well.
1. Why did Jesus design the church to be so diverse?
2. What are the benefits of a diverse church? What are the difficulties?
3. When people thought of Jesus, they first thought of love. Is that true of us today? Think of your daily interactions with others. Is love your defining characteristic?
4. Unity = Credibility. Why does unity without commonality increase our credibility in the world?
5. Does unity make you uncomfortable? Why or why not? Why wasn’t it uncomfortable for Jesus?
6. Colossians 3:12-14 is a “dress code” for the church. Practically speaking, how can you clothe yourself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience?
“We” is greater than “me.” Practice unity in love this week. Serve those different from you, and invite someone to be your guest this Sunday!