By: Justin Dillenschneider, Director of Student Life
Week of September 13th, 2021
Cooperation can be defined as the process of working together to achieve the same goal or accomplish a common task. As followers of Christ, cooperation is a key virtue in the way that we relate to each other and to the communities we live in. In our fallen world, the natural tendency of humanity is to guard our own sandcastle kingdoms out of fear that we will not have enough, or to jump on the bandwagon with those who look, think, and act like we do. Cooperation is a difficult balance full of the tension that exists for the sojourner. Cooperation does not necessarily mean that we agree on everything, but it is a willingness to set aside differences in non-essentials in order to accomplish a common task. The apostle Paul highlights the powerful apologetic nature of cooperation in his letters to the churches in Philippi and Ephesus. When followers of Christ are unified despite different socio-economic, political, and geographic backgrounds, it is a powerful testimony to the world. As Dr. Dernlan says in his book, “Cooperation toward a true, good, and beautiful goal allows us to glorify God as a body of believers.”
Continue contemplating cooperation by looking at this week’s scripture reading from Philippians 2:1-4 CSB:
“If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.”
We want to encourage you to have a conversation this week about the virtue of cooperation. Consider these discussion prompts together:
- When have you experienced or witnessed cooperation from someone in your life?
- What things leave you with a feeling of disagreeableness?
- Where have you seen people fall into groupthink? Where are you tempted to do so?
- What are some ways you see Christ modeling cooperation and unity in Scripture?
Hymn to Sing Together: Take My Life and Let It Be