As the second Big Room kicked off at the National Youth Workers Convention 2019, we were told we would have three speakers. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was ready to sit through three back-to-back messages. But wow, was I wrong!
God used Lucas Ramirez, Reggie Joiner, and Danielle Strickland to bring a powerful message focused on collaboration. There is no way I can recreate what they said here in a blog post, but I’ll recap the best I can.
Lucas told us that God designed our fellowship to be the best in history, but there is division. It is time for the generation of leaders today to disrupt division and be the example of the unity that God wants.
He then read Jesus’ prayer from John 17:20-23, which is focused on unity.
“For Jesus,” Lucas said, “unity is mission critical.”
We have nearly 30 thousand denominations in the world today. Lucas declared, “God’s great story of reconciliation is crippled when the messengers are not unified.”
He has spent quite a bit of time lately studying murmuration of birds in flight. Through that, he has learned a ton. One of those things is that we need critical mass. Our movement is density dependent.
Reggie turned to the book of Nehemiah. He said that the same thing that drives Nehemiah is the same thing that drives many of us. We have the opportunity to rally people and churches together to do something great.
He then dropped a huge truth bomb: “How you work together can change how a generation sees God, and the enemy gets nervous when we talk about doing things together.”
Nehemiah couldn’t walk away from the work he was doing. He would probably tell us, “Keep working together, regardless.” How do we do that? These three ways:
- Keep doing something personally that reminds you why you do what you do.
- Keep spending time with people who inspire you.
- Keep reminding everybody everywhere what matters most.
Reggie then pointed out that when the walls went up and the work was finished…
- Those on the outside changed their minds about who God was.
- The people on the inside of the walls trusted God in a way they never had before.
- It changed how an entire generation listened to God.
What if the same thing happened in our ministries, churches, and communities?
Danielle started by telling a few stories as he she shared two lies we’re told about reconciliation:
- It’s none of your business.
- It’s too hard and too late.
Then she pointed to one posture to combat the lies: Be in Christ.
Christ prayed, “Make them one.”
Danielle had so many amazing quotes during her talk, but here were two of my favorites:
- “Reconciliation is the best news this divided world will ever hear.”
- “The clearer your vision of Jesus, the truer the Gospel you preach.”
We’re supposed to be together, network together, serve together, love together, and make an impact together.
Danielle ended with the thought that God has a plan to redeem, restore, and renew everything. Let’s do this together!