Diversity in the Kingdom of God
This past week I had to travel to Winnipeg for business so I decided to connect the trip with a promotional tour of the College at Mission Fest. I'm not sure how many sponsors there were, but to estimate over a hundred would not be an exaggeration. Our booth was next to a couple whose mission is to connect professionals with job opportunities in parts of the world where less than 3% of the population is Christian. They had recently returned from Afghanistan where they were teaching English.
Other Colleges and seminaries were represented, mostly from Manitoba. I had the opportunity to talk with those who are working in the area of leadership, helping to develop boards of non-government organizations and churches. Others had ministries in theater or communications and design. One lady came by and picked up a brochure of the College and then explained why she collected material from all of the sponsors. She took the literature home and organized it in file folders. Each day, throughout the year, she takes ten brochures and prays for each ministry represented. It is not often that you cross paths with someone who feels their ministry is prayer.
As I walked around, I was amazed by the variety of ministries represented. Would I agree with every theological position represented? Probably not. But do I need to in order to recognize that each of these groups, in their own way, is trying to express the love of God in Jesus Christ to a hurting world?
It is easy to dismiss those who are not like us, but when we do we dismiss the rich diversity within the Kingdom of God. The goal is not to make everyone in our own image, but to accept the reality that God can and does use an amazing array of people to reach the world. It left me with an increased desire to do that piece of work to which I have been called and to be thankful for all those who have been called to plow in different parts of the vineyard. So here is my question: Who is working near you in the vineyard for whom you can give thanks?