CULTURE OF UNITY
My wife and I have the discussion often on what defines a date. While I would prefer to stay home, order pizza and pop on a good Netflix movie, she’d much rather go out and have a night on the town. Call me a party pooper but, the thought of going out to fight the New York nightlife crowd for subway space just to dance to a DJ’s playlist you could stream on Spotify...sounds far too exhausting to me. This would primarily be because I’ve always identified as an introvert, and introverts usually find their rest in nice quiet, alone time. But of course, in compromise and love, I brave the outdoors and take my wife out for date nights every now and then.
Our most recent date was fun and enjoyable for both of us, but long for me. Afterward, I was really looking forward to going home and relaxing for the rest of my Saturday evening. Imagine my surprise when we walked into our apartment to find a bunch of our friends from dinner party there hanging out, cooking dinner and kicking it. Instead of feeling annoyed, or exhausted, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and even joy seeing our friends there enjoying the space together. Immediately, the scripture from Acts 2:44-47 popped into my mind. “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”
As I looked around in that moment, I realized that the people I was closest to, my dearest friends, I’d met them all through C3 NYC. At Dinner Parties, Sunday services, and Team Nights, we were connected together and started to actually live out this scripture. I realized that sharing our space, and our time together is an expression of how God wants us to live in unity and togetherness. I also realized that it’s something that happens beyond Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings.
It’s amazing how I continue to find my true identity the further I go in my relationship with Christ. The label of "introvert" I’d given myself is never who I truly was nor who I’m meant to be. Because I value what God values, I began to treasure living life in community. I’ve learned here that through unity we can truly change this city. Unity is one of the most powerful tools of evangelism we have; it’s by our love and care for each other that sets us apart and draws others to Christ. (John 13:35)
— BEN HOWARD