New Language for a New Season

New Language for a New Season 1

As the 4Tucson staff moves forward implementing the strategy of biblical city transformation, we have become increasingly aware of the importance of developing language that clearly articulates what we are trying to accomplish.

As a staff, we are taking this occasion to carefully evaluate the vision, mission and strategy of 4Tucson. We have prayed, listened, evaluated and reflected. With the benefit of several years of experience, this new season is proving to be an excellent opportunity for clarifying the language we use to communicate with each other and with the city at large.

I have been asked several times during this transition if 4Tucson continues to value the pursuit of the unity within the body of Christ. Let me say, 4Tucson is just as committed to building biblical unity as it ever has been. Here is where clarity of language is really important.

A few months ago, while at dinner at the 100 Global City Summit, I sat next to a friend of mine who is a city leader on the east coast. He shared that he had been following the developments within 4Tucson. He said, “Mark, I think your problem may be as simple as a language problem. Do you understand that there are two parts to biblical unity?”

He explained, “Biblical Unity has two significantly different parts and roles. The two parts of biblical unity are Relational Unity and Operational Unity. Relational Unity is necessary if you ever hope to successfully achieve Operational Unity in your city.” He added, “4Tucson seems to have done a good job developing Relational Unity.”

When I asked him to go a little deeper he said, “Relational Unity starts by building relationships within the city. If any group meets often enough, trust within the relationships will develop. As trust is developed over time, unity will be the result.” He said, “Relational Unity seems to be happening through the efforts of 4Tucson.”

Then he explained, “Operational Unity is the second phase of biblical unity. Operational Unity is where leaders begin to collaborate to find solutions to city problems. Operational Unity is only sustainable if leaders are willing to invest the time to develop Relational Unity.”

“Many Christian organizations short circuit the process of city transformation by ignoring Relational Unity, jumping headlong into solving problems. The organization will not last without taking time to develop the relationships necessary to sustain it,” he shared. “Operational Unity is where the power of God can be on display for the whole city to see. Once the trust and relational foundation is built, collaboration on city-wide service projects are successfully initiated. The cumulative result of Christians working together on multiple city-wide fronts is biblical city transformation.”

I really felt that God had divinely set that dinner appointment just for me. My friend was right. 4Tucson had done a really good job building the first part of biblical unity – the Relational Unity part. We have known that was an important step on the road to biblical city transformation. We understood that without strong relationships we could not go forward. What we lacked was the language to communicate second part of biblical unity. It is this second part; the Operational Unity that 4Tucson must now develop across our city.

We are confidently moving forward, building on the successes we have had in relational unity, to start developing operational unity within the city. We intend to develop this second phase with the same focus and passion we used to build the first part. One of our team members called this new season, “Mission Acceleration.”

Please continue to pray for our city.

Please pray for 4Tucson as we accelerate our mission. We will not be satisfied with the status quo. We believe God has more for us. We believe God is stirring something great in our city and we believe God wants you to be a part of it.

Please pray for God to clearly reveal your role in building biblical unity in our city. Get involved. We need each and every Christian to be a part of the biblical city transformation process. Hope to see you soon at one of our gatherings.

Please pray for God to clearly reveal your role in building biblical unity in our city. Get involved. We need each and every Christian to be a part of the biblical city transformation process. Hope to see you soon at one of our gatherings.

Mark Harris, Founder/CEO 4Tucson



 

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