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Core 52 Chapter 46 - Unity

This week’s theme passage led me to stroll down memory lane.  During a few different stints in my student ministry years, I used the name “ACE Student Ministries,” to help give some identity to the youth group and cast some vision among the students and leaders.

The theme verse for this was the same as the one focused on by Mark Moore in this week’s reading, Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

The word “ACE” had the obvious connection as representing “ONE” and the desire for unity the Lord has for all of us, but another layer was in the meaning behind each letter of the word.

“A” stood for “Accept,” and it was our desire as a student ministry to accept everyone for who God made them to be – no matter what they look like, no matter how tall or short they are, no matter how smart they are, no matter what color they are, etc. The body of Christ, exemplified by the make up of our youth group, wanted to be unified in our acceptance of everyone.

“C” stood for “Challenge,” and it was our goal to challenge every student to live their life according to the one standard set for us by Jesus.  There was no compromise and no choice in the matter – be unified and live as Christ would want you to live.

“E” stood for “Empower,” and the final phase of student development was to empower these students to answer the call of God in their lives, to serve in the Kingdom and to lead by example.

All of these steps led to unity among everyone – friends and younger students would find a welcome and friendly place, while those beyond that step would accept the challenge to be followers of Jesus, ultimately led by those who have been empowered to lead.

Did it ever work to perfection? Absolutely….not!  But did it lay the foundation for the potential for students to find their place in the Kingdom? Yes, yes it did.

Wouldn’t it be great if we did the same?  May we always be aware of providing a welcoming, safe and friendly place for anyone who may visit our community. May we faithfully obey the will of the Father as his disciples and servants, and may we excel to be leaders not only in our faith community, but in the communities of our lives as well and when we do so, our light will shine and bring glory to the Father.

- Pete Ramsey