We caught up with Graham Hutchinson for a brief interview as he steps down from leading the unity movement One Voice York. He shares his reflections on unity and leadership.
1. What’s been the most encouraging thing about leading the York Unity Movement – One Voice York?
Feeling sometimes that I’m a bystander or witness watching what God is doing. Gathering the leaders together and giving them an appetite for praying together. Simply put, the feeling that God is up to something and I’ve been watching it happen.
2. What’s the biggest challenge to building unity?
Always for those of us who are keen on the idea to guard our own hearts. It would be easy to take offense when we encounter those that don’t want to be part of the movement or who don’t get it. Sometimes they act in ways that seem cruel and hurtful.
3. What advice would you give someone starting this journey?
I’m not sure a person can decide to do it. A lot depends on whether others believe that you are placed in a particular strategic position. If it turns out that somebody finds themselves in that position, with others looking to them, all they can do is do their best and remember that it’s God’s work.
4. Where do you see things going in the future for York?
In York the unity movement, One Voice York, is in the process of change. It was a plan some years ago that I would resign this year and hand over to a successor. That process is in hand now. It will result in a change of working relationships as the center of gravity shifts within the group. I embrace change. I founded the prayer meeting nearly 20 years ago, it is time for the younger leaders to step forward.
5. How did you balance leading a church and a unity movement?
With care! I had to remember who paid my salary and keep things in balance. I knew that the church I served were pleased they were impacting the city through me as their representative. Time management is always a challenge but gathering weekly with other leaders of churches and Christian ministries to pay for the city (we began in the summer of 1999) has been something I judged as a priority for me, for the call I carried and for the church I have served.
6. Why is this unity movement thing important?
Because it is an historic phenomenon unique to our times. It is something that God is blowing along, which contradicts hundreds of years of church history. Followers of Christ are now accepting that they have differences but are laying them aside as they step up to the plate. They are acknowledging our familial relationship, within the body of Christ, in order to work together bringing the presence of Christ into a lost world.