A table for all

The Foursquare family is wonderfully diverse. It is full of hidden gems in people of color, women and men, the young, and the seasoned. The Lord has been drawing our attention to the many “best kept secrets” in our movement, and He’s saying, It’s a new day. The time has come for us to uncover these gems and let the world see the unique distinctives of this beautiful mosaic we are.

In the body of Christ, unity inherently requires diversity. Without diversity, unity is merely desired uniformity. We aren’t diverse because it’s politically correct. Diversity is our calling and responsibility; it’s in our DNA. We have a rich heritage, combined with values and doctrine that inspire us to keep the doors wide open. All of our sons and daughters have a seat at the table, and we will continue to champion them as they live out their God-given callings and capacities.

We see diversity demonstrated so beautifully in the Scriptures. On the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, the heart languages spoken that day were a reflection of God’s heart, which celebrates and delights in the diversity of the people He created, and whom He has united in His Son, Jesus. We read on into Romans to see the beginnings of the church. Paul’s teams consisted of men and women, Jews and Gentiles, aristocrats and freed slaves. His leaders were a reflection and representation of the body of Christ as it was intended to be.

We will see breakthrough when we understand our need for one another and celebrate our diversity as God does. When we forget our need for each other, we drift toward self-sufficiency, which can leave us feeling invisible, second string, or just simply not relevant. We all have a need to feel respected, needed and wanted, just as we are. And nothing energizes us more than when someone believes in us, sees the potential of what we could be, and invests in helping us grow.

As a body, we are incomplete without the diversity each of us brings to the table. When shared, the lens of another’s worldview, experience and culture only enhances our relationships and effectiveness in the world. We bring glory to God through this, because the diversity of the body of Christ is in itself a reflection of His own image and the multifaceted attributes of who He is.

We will see breakthrough when we understand our need for one another and celebrate our diversity as God does.

Foursquare family, within our own body we have built-in superpowers. Many of our young people, generations 1.5 and 2.0, consist of younger immigrants who are highly adaptable, bicultural and often multilingual. They are ready and willing to serve, and we can provide direction and equip them to be world-changers in any place God calls them to be.

Segregation is often easier. It’s the path of familiarity and least resistance. President Glenn Burris Jr. reminds us that the harder path of integration takes intentionality, and consistent decision-making and action. In this new day, we will move intentionally and lead by example, and we will do this boldly without fear or hesitation.

It starts with a willingness to leave your places of comfort to meet and engage with people who are seemingly unlike you. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you these hidden gems within our movement and out in your community. Listen to their stories; hear about their sacred journeys without presupposition or judgment. Among the many differences, we will find common threads. Let us be open to allowing God to knit our hearts together in the supernatural ways only He can. In this, our unity will testify to the watching world of His power, love and the kind of kindness that leads others to Him.

- Tammy Dunahoo is vice president of U.S. operations for The Foursquare Church. Ted Vail, D.Miss., is director of Foursquare Missions International and vice president of global operations.