By: Ginger Hughes

I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals in recent months.  A LOT of time.  And while I spent most of that time in my mom’s room, I still had ample opportunity to notice some things, one of which is how many people it takes to run a hospital.

There are so many people, all with different areas of expertise, coming together to make things work efficiently.

There are people who cook meals for each patient and those who deliver those meals to the patient’s rooms.

There are pharmacists who fill every prescription and others who ensure there are sufficient medicines on hand.

There are those who clean the rooms each day and others who order supplies.

There are employees who oversee patient relations and those who help with admissions or billing.

There is staff trained in physical therapy and others trained in massage therapy.

There are doctors and nurses who take care of each and every patient…tirelessly.

And of course, there are so many others I could never begin to name them all.

So over the last few weeks, I’ve watched as each person does their particular job, yet they all work together for the common good: an efficiently run hospital which serves its patients well.  I can’t help but marvel at this.

Clearly, all of these people have different beliefs, come from different backgrounds, have skin that ranges in color.  They’re married and single, young and old, well-to-do and struggling to make ends meet.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not naïve.  I’m sure there are many bumps along the way.  I feel certain there are disagreements and hurt feelings.  I’m sure everything doesn’t always work together as smoothly as what’s presented to the patient.

But at the end of the day, they make it work.  They work through the challenges for the sake of the patients and for the betterment of all.  They make it work for the greater good.

As I’ve observed this, it’s made me wonder why we can’t seem to do this in all areas of life, and more specifically, why we struggle so in the church?

If the church truly exists for one purpose, to glorify God and tell the story of His Son Jesus Christ, why do our differences seem only to divide us?  Why can’t we too work together for the “common good” of sharing the love of Christ?

What could the church at large look like if we stopped spending our energy on pointing out another church’s differences and perceived shortcomings, and instead focused on our similarities: a belief in Jesus?

What impact could the church make in the world if we actually worked together to share the love of Christ?

The impact could be powerful, but we, the people who make up the church, must be willing to make some changes and expand our thinking.

For instance, perhaps church should be less about being right and more about being loving.

Perhaps church should be less about following our personal agendas and more about following the One we claim as Lord.

Perhaps church should be less about positions of power and more about the power of Christ working through us to help our neighbors.

Perhaps church should be less about a rigid set of doctrinal statements and more about allowing the love of Christ Jesus to flow through us touching lives.

Friends, people work together every day in hospitals, in Fortune 500 companies, in school systems, and in many other arenas toward the common good.

If the Church desires to fulfill God’s mission in the world, we must learn to do the same.  Together, we can.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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