It sounds like such a nice, easy concept. But the truth is, it’s actually really hard to do well! A group of people working together means work that wouldn’t otherwise be there—coordination, communication, compromise. When you split the work up, sometimes it ends up creating more work than if one person had just done it themselves!

You guys have all experienced this, haven’t you? You’re assigned a “group project” at school and in the end, one person ends up doing all the work. Or you try to have a planning meeting with others and end up postponing the meeting 15 times because one person or another can’t make it. Or you’re oh so close to making a decision and then one person has to insist on not agreeing and you’re back to square one.

So is it worth it? Is all the extra work that unity causes really worth it?

Check out this verse:

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!…There the Lord has commanded a blessing, life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1, 3b)

Stop and think about it. If you could get ONE thing for whatever project you’re working on, what would it be? Unlimited money? Talented people? Instant inspiration?

I know what I would choose—God’s blessing. If the Creator and Ruler of the universe chooses to bless something, then it can never fail. And it can never be mediocre.

I am never a fan of extra work. For me, the benefit needs to greatly outweigh or at the very least match the amount of effort that needs to be put into something. But what kind of value can you put on the blessing of God? ANY kind of work that would bring his blessing would be worth it!

So this year for Encounter, we’ve made an intentional decision to plan and execute this retreat in unity, not just among our own youth groups, but among the Christian youth of the whole city. We are doing more cooperation and collaboration than has ever been done at a Shanghai youth retreat. And it definitely has been more work.

But it is SO worth it. As we open God’s call on us to unity, we know that his blessing will rest on us, like morning dew on the mountains (Ps 133:3). We expect greater things than we’ve ever seen before!

We invite you to join us this year, October 1-3, as we dive into all the blessings God has for us!

See you at retreat!!!!!


Posted in Encounter 2014.