Did you hear the story about the French ornithologist who went out into the deep woods to try out his bird calling. He was shot by a hunter.

I have learned that it is pretty foolish and even self-destructive to pretend to be someone you’re not. There seems to be a tendency displayed in the pseudo phase of community building where we surround ourselves with people like us. We pretend to be like the people we admire, so we can act like them and justify our desire to be with them. We invest a lot of energy in being phony and artificial. Self-centered instead of self-less, many never discover who they actually are. We deny our uniqueness and force ourselves into molds and methods that just aren’t us. Personal transformation for renewal begins with community building at its core and I have learned the value of self-knowledge in the context of community for like often quoted lyric, “no one is an island.” Diversity is reality and I have come to appreciate my own uniqueness and that of others which has enriched my life.

Homogeneity is the god of the church growth movement, not diversity. The church growth gurus since the eighties have promoted this as a preferred method of accelerated membership and even as a desirable outcome of ministry. But it is instead a feature of pseudo community where differences are negated, similarities are superficial, and communication is inauthentic. The beauty of creation is complexity, the radiance of the Church is diversity, the strength of the person of God is acknowledging his or her own gifts and uniqueness. The Triune God is the God of the Church and where the Church embraces diversity and gifts expression, the Church becomes real and authentic. This is the beginning of transformation.