CULTURE OF UNITY
When I first started attending C3 NYC, I was caught up in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I was encountering God in ways I hadn’t before. I saw a freedom and a joy in the congregation. I felt my faith rise as I stood in worship. I experienced biblical discipleship through the messages our pastors were preaching and from my Dinner Party leaders. I saw the heart of service and honor among the team. And all of these things were so attractive to me - so different from what I was used to experiencing in New York City. But the aspect of our culture that I’ve found the most radical - the most transformative - since I started attending our church is the unity that binds the team together.
We hear about the disunity in today’s culture often, but Ephesians Chapter 4 encourages us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” In the past, I had confused passivity for peace and conformity for unity, but through studying scripture and attending C3 NYC, I’ve come to understand what true Godly unity looks like. In 1 Corinthians 12, we see the picture of the church as one body with Jesus at the head, where every part operates with a unique purpose, representing every spiritual gift. I love this picture because it’s so clear. Unity does not mean that we all look and operate the same. Instead, it means we are all living in the fullness of our purpose, operating in our unique giftings, and united under the call and direction of God!
This illustration really sank in when I started leading dinner party in my neighborhood. For the first time, I was part of a group of leaders where there was an equal responsibility for all four of us. No one person was at the head of the dinner party. Instead, we were led by a shared commitment to live in obedience to Christ, to create space for others to find their place in the body.
This new culture of unity was freeing for me! I learned there was no right formula for leadership. My leadership didn’t need to look exactly like my co-leaders. Instead, God had called me specifically for who He created me to be. He gave me the freedom to operate in my specific giftings with a team of other leaders doing the same, covering each other’s gaps!
He has placed all of us here in this city, in this church, to be part of a body united on mission for Him. So it’s my prayer that God would give us the vision to celebrate the unique giftings of others, to welcome them home into their place in the body, and to keep us unified through the bond of peace.
— Kristin Mathuny