• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

What difference does it make?

What difference does it make to be in the majority or the minority?hqdefault

Around the globe today, that’s a question on which a number of people are reflecting.  For some, it’s a financial question; for others, it’s a political question; and for still others, it’s a social structure question.

To be in the majority means that one’s way of seeing the world is the operating principle for the context in which one lives and works.  It’s a comfortable place to be.  To be in the minority means that one’s way of seeing the world is not the standard operating principle.  This can be an uncomfortable and awkward place to be.

Imagine that you have been invited to a dinner party where the host, and most of the guests, is an extrovert.  If you are an extrovert, you will feel very much at home at the dinner party and probably tell people later what a great time you had.  You are in the majority.  If you are an introvert, you will feel like the proverbial ‘fish out of water’ amongst all these extroverts.  The dinner party might be hard, uncomfortable, or awkward.  Rare would be the person at such a dinner party, from the majority group, who notices your uncomfortableness and tries to ‘bridge’ you into the conversation.

So, why am I writing all this?  In our World Team Ministry Framework, one of the elements of our organizational culture (our context) is community.  Community, Gospel community, calls us to address the differences, the disparities that may exist between us.  Gospel community calls us to think about others who may not be in our ‘majority’ in terms of language, culture, temperament or style of thinking; to think about others who may not be in our ‘majority’ and how they might feel. Gospel community calls us to turn away from ways that may isolate others, and move towards others to learn from their way of perceiving the world.

Have you ever wondered about when John writes: “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready””, what language will be spoken when we are all gathered together in that way?  And what cultural cues will we follow as we sit down to the marriage feast of the Lamb?

Community: is the experience of God’s people sharing in common their relationship with Christ, stimulating each other toward growth in maturity … this kind of community operates through voluntary transparency and through speaking and receiving the truth in love.

 

6 Responses

  1. David, thanks for always pushing us towards one another and towards Christ. I constantly need to hear how I should be giving and receiving in my community in such a way that Christ is being formed in me and in my teammates.

    • It’s a reminder we always need to be sharing with one another. Each time though we see how much deeper the application of community goes in our lives and our teams.

  2. I am glad that you addressed the dynamic tension between introverts and extroverts in community. Often introverts are hungry for more community but extroverts don’t notice or care enough to open the door and invite them in. Extroverts have so much to gain when they enter into community with introverts, but when this is their blind spot, how can introverts respond to help them?

    • Thanks Albert for underscoring that piece of the much larger discussion of all the ‘majority/minority’ situations we can find ourselves in. Of course, it goes in the other direction when an extrovert shows up at a dinner party or meeting of all introverts (: Whenever we find ourselves in the majority or minority, we need to find ways to reach out, minister and receive from those who are different from us.

    • Good thoughts. I think understanding one another is half the battle: https://ispeakpeople.com/introvert-or-extrovert/

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