What did you think of… A coffee shop?...Target?...a school?... The Vikings?... Southtown Baptist Church?
No matter what your first thought was, now imagine what that place would be like if only some of the employees or participants actually were working? If Target were understaffed, you would have only one cashier lane open, shelves would be only partially filled, the floor would be unswept, and you would have no one at customer service to help you.
What about a school? Imagine only half the faculty showed up each day? It would definitely impact the learning environment as only some students would be taught, administrative details would not get done, counselors would be over taxed and the lunchroom would be a mess.
What if the star running back, linebacker and QB did not show up for the game? The opposing team will totally embarrass the Vikings. For a team, it is always all hands on deck.
Now think of your home…Who cleans it? Who plans the meals and cooks? Who mows the lawn and shovels? Who teaches and cares for the family members? Hopefully you share responsibilities with others in your family. But if it all lands on you alone, you know how draining this can be for one person.
Southtown Church is God’s home and we are the caretakers of it. The apostle Paul compares the Church to our bodies. Not only is every person at Southtown valued and important, but we need every person to be an active participant in order to fully function.
Rom 12:4-11 (NLT) Our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
1 Cor 12:14-23 (Msg) Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It is exactly the same with Christ….
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so?
If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach.
There are three important truths to take from these passages.
Every Believer is a Minister.
This means you. You are valuable in the way God created, designed and chose your specific talents and gifts. No one can say they are not needed or have nothing they can contribute to ministry. It simply is not true because God made you to be a minister the moment you chose to follow him.
Every Ministry is Important.
How dull we would be as humans if we all had the same abilities. No one would be special. Reread 1 Cor. 12:14-23. This is why God made each person uniquely. There is no hierarchy in the church. We need our carpets vacuumed just as much as we need babies cared for. We need our small group leaders just as much as we need to do outreach in our neighborhood. We need our weeds pulled just as much as we need a worship team on Sunday mornings.
Everyone is interdependent on each other.
The Church was never designed to be led by a few with everyone else watching it happen. If you join a team, whether it is a sports team or a work crew, you know that every person needs to participate. How successful is a basketball team when only 2 of the five are actually playing? How fun is it to paint a house by yourself while the other people on your crew sit and watch? It isn’t sustainable nor healthy in the long term.
We ALL need to be involved to make the body of The Church, God’s house, function in a healthy way. Just as God designed the human body to be interdependent, he also designed His Church to be interdependent.
Seeking for everyone to be involved,