“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:27
I will be the first to admit that Pastors can be guilty of talking all about “the church,” as a theoretical concept floating around up there. We ponder recruiting volunteers, giving, worship, all in this theoretical church that exists in a vacuum that looks and acts little like the actual places that we serve. The challenge is what it looks like to be the church. How do we fully live into the identity and calling that God has placed on each of us as individuals and as communities of believers? In the next few posts, I am going to look at this idea of being church. I want to give credit where it’s due, this challenge of being church was stirred up in me because of the book I Am A Church Member by Thom Rainer, a quick read that I highly recommend.
This short verse from 1 Corinthians 12 is the culmination, the church being compared with the human body. One key from this passage is the idea that each of us are one part of the greater body, and Jesus Christ is the head. A key thought is that every part of our bodies have a purpose and function. If a body part does nothing it is considered, unhealthy, ill, or damaged. The normal mode is that every part has some kind of function. The same is true for us as we seek to be the Church. We each have a role, a purpose and function. The assumption in this passage is that we have to understand and live into our role and purpose. It assumes that we are all functioning parts of the greater system. Yes even you, amidst all your quirks, struggles, doubts, and insecurities. You have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit that are meant to build up the body, and serve the world. Each week in these posts I am going to end with a pledge of what it looks likes to be church in this way. I pray that you take time to reflect on it, and to commit this with God, and someone that can hold you accountable to living into this.
I must be a functioning member, whether I am an eye, an ear, or a hand. As a functioning member I will give, I will serve, I will minister, evangelize, study, and seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that if one member suffers all suffer, and if one member is honored all members rejoice with them. (Adapted from I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer)