You Need Me
Dependence upon God is a well-recognized tenet of Christian faith and living, but that’s not the whole story, for the interdependency of Christ followers is also a bulwark tenet of Christian faith and living. Lyrical snatches from gospel recording artist Hezekiah Walker’s song, “I Need You To Survive,” beautifully captures the simple interdependency that is intrinsic in God’s intentional design of the body: “I need you, you need me, we’re all a part of God’s body. I won’t harm you with words from my mouth, I love you, I need you to survive. You are important to me, I need you to survive.”
You see, since the beginning of human creation, connectivity, dependence, community and a shared hunger for the reach of God has hovered in and around our existence, and so yes, an inexplicable desire and need of others is sewn into the fabric of our humanity. In Christ, the drumbeat of the brotherhood & sisterhood of Christ’s disciples has been unrelentingly (and thankfully) preached in every generation. While homogeneous people groupings is a manifest reality of our post-sin Adamic roots, it’s nevertheless also true that the multifaceted mosaic of many tribes, tongues and nations coming together is MORE like heaven than the culturally safe silos that many of us migrate to on Sunday mornings.
Sameness that bravely chooses to intentionally change into the garment of diversity finds richness, strength, an expanded voice, increased creativity and Holy Ghost surprises that tend to be marginalized when “sameness” is overvalued. When “those people” become “us,” when our much beloved familiar liturgies are made to skooch down the bench of God’s family as to make room for the less familiar, and when we grow to the point where raw muscular sermonic content is more valued than the comfort of all things familiar, the smile of God will undoubtedly broaden even further. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t know it, so I declare to you (especially if your skin color is different than mine), “I need you and you need me, we’re all a part of God’s body.”
If our ministry headquarters exists in a multicultural community but our Sunday morning gatherings fail to reasonably reflect their geographical cultural tapestry, and even if the hymnody is fabulous and the stained glass windows are glorious, arguably, we should look around and feel like something "just ain’t right." Additionally, keep in mind one of the primary dangers of dominant culture church situations, which is this: A multicultural “look” to our Sunday morning gatherings isn’t enough; in other words, often times churches wrongly claim to have multicultural worship when the actual truth is they only have worship that’s firmly rooted in the dominant culture of that church, with multicultural people simply being present.
Can we think, talk and plan change together? Would you be willing to be a part of a NorthStar sponsored conversation about diversity and inclusion? If yes, stay tuned for a gathering to do just that.