No matter how good we are at something, there are other things that we can’t do at all. We can take a niche and master it, but a niche by its very definition is a subsection of the greater need. Those other niches require somebody else that can master them for the entire need to be met. We can’t do it all by ourself; we need a community.
Community is the forum for us to operate in unity with people equipped and specialized differently than us to achieve the greater goal. We complement one another by operating with honor for the gift in the other. We can bristle at the personality traits of those that we are in community with but we are invited to die to our offense and honor the gifts in even the objectionable. In that exercise of honor, the picture and purposes of God are put on display.
When a community is formed, there will naturally be some level of diversity and often times the greater the diversity, the greater the potential for that community. The greater the diversity, the greater the breadth and depth of the capacity for that particular community. When we are able to operate with honor and grace towards one another, the diversity of a community becomes its greatest strength as it covers the broadest landscape of God’s design.
Community will attract diversity where the gifts in every individual are honored. In practical terms, to honor the gifts means to:
- Recognize – With eyes to see, we can agree with God’s design in another and the value they bring to the greater community. Everyone was created in His image, not just you and people who look like you.
- Call out – Intentionally articulating the value you see in someone else activates permission for that someone else to explore their destiny in your common community.
- Give a Place – If we relegate certain gifts in others to second or third tier, that place will not reflect honor or facilitate the destiny of the community.
- Support – Yielding time, opportunity and resources that the community distributes implicitly and/or explicitly.
- Encourage – Even the most gifted stumble and fall; the community has the inherent power to give members of that community courage to keep going by encouraging during success as well as setbacks.
- Celebrate – The culmination of honor and encouragement is recognition among the community as a whole for the contributions and value that the individuals of the community offer. This has to be intentional, it won’t happen by accident.
Community facilitates destiny and requires sharing. Destiny isn’t about the individual but if it were it would be a shadow of the magnitude that it is intended to carry. If and when we yield our gifts to the community of others, we will compliment and contrast to such a measure that the whole world will take note.