One thing that has repeatedly come up through my years of talking with college ministers is the penchant students have for unity. It’s natural that they would look around campus, notice all these different college ministries, and ask, “Why aren’t we all working together?”

But what I’ve also commonly heard from the college ministers is that students often “overapply” the concept of unity, taking it far beyond the biblical mandate (or at least what seems clear). Their zeal doesn’t always involve knowledge or wisdom – certainly not the wisdom that rises from experience.

So what do we do? We add definitions to their zeal. If a student is pushing for unity, why not have them do a Bible study on unity first? Ask hard questions, provide them with some background and context, and even get them to interview a variety of college ministers about the issue – with an open mind, not an agenda.

Definitions can help legalism subside. But we’ve got to be willing to add them.