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If you have ever been on vacation and randomly met a stranger from your hometown, you have experienced the immediate connection made when two individuals discover a unique similarity.  If you were to meet this same person on any normal day in your city, there would be nothing special about it.  Everyone around you is from the same place.  But when you are 3 states away and surrounded by hundreds of random tourists, something special happens when you meet that person who lives just miles from your house.
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The same thing happens for fans of sports teams located in cities other than their own.  As a Chicago Cubs fan living in Atlanta, I’ll take any excuse to strike up a conversation in the rare times that I see a stranger in a Cubs hat.
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The fact is that we feel an immediate sense of community when we discover unique similarities with others.  Unique similarities are those things few people in a group have in common.
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Think about a couple of your best friends.  I suspect you can identify something you have in common with each of them that you do not share with anyone else.  And the more personal that thing you have in common is, the stronger your friendship is likely to be.
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Why is this important?  The Principle of Unique Similarities is valuable to (1) All Leaders and (2) Pastors specifically
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1.  All Leaders
The degree to which your team members feel connected to one another is directly related to the unique things they know they hold in common.  This is another reason why “team building exercises” such as ropes courses do not work.  They simply make people coordinate action without providing any opportunity for them to discover the ways in which they are alike.  Creating space where unique similarities can be discovered is crucial to the unity of your team.
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It really does not matter how much experience your team members have together.  Because no matter how much they have already learned about one another, there are always more and deeper unique similarities to be found.  And thus, greater unity to be created and utilized.
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Where are you regularly creating space for your team members to discover their unique similarities?
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2.  Pastors
If you want to create community throughout your congregation, you must provide an opportunity for individuals to discover those with whom they are uniquely similar.  Your weekend worship service is likely too large for this.  There are simply too many people to ensure that the right two will bump into each other.  Mid-sized social spaces with 30-50 people can provide a solid chance of uniquely similar individuals crossing paths.  Filtering these spaces by age and gender demographics can increase those odds even more.
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Small groups can also provide a place for this.  However, it is worth considering that the smaller the groups, the lower the odds of individuals with unique similarities being together.  Balancing small groups with mid-sized spaces can increase the odds that your members connect.
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Where can your church members make deep connections based on unique similarities?
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