Will the Real Church Please Stand Up – Membership?


October 23, 2011

1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 22-27  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,  which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

The first truth to be understood in this passage is that the local church is a visible, tangible, real-world expression of the body of Christ. “One thing a local congregation does best is to show your non-Christian neighbors that the new life made available through Jesus’ death on the cross is also the foundation for a new society. By living the gospel as a distinct community, the church down the street accomplishes the important mission of displaying the transforming effects of the gospel for the world to see. Others won’t see be able to see this larger picture if we remain detached from each other and go our separate ways.” (Joshua Harris in Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God).

In God’s wisdom, He decided that the best way that His glory would be revealed would be through the church and through those lives that make up the church.

The second truth is that there is one body with many members. God has created the body of Christ and the church in such a way that we are dependent on each other for its success. This relates both to the local expression of the church as well as the corporate expression throughout the community and the world. We are not independent but interdependent on one another.

In other words, while we are one church that worships here on Cypress Road in Selbyville there are many other churches in this area that are focuses on God and are members of the Body of Christ. A couple of weeks ago I attended a Pastor’s Appreciation Lunch at Eagle’s Nest and I can tell you that there were many representatives of Christ’s body. The fact is if every person inSussexCountycame to know Christ there would not be enough room the church’s that God has called.

The second part of this is that we are all believers in Christ but we need to realize that we must be dependent on each other. There are no lone rangers in the work of the ministry.

God has placed unique gifts in the body and into each individual so that they will be used to accomplish the work of the ministry. Even those who seem to be a weaker part of the body are in reality an indispensible part of the body. Every person called to the body of Christ has been given a gift that they are to use to further the ministry of the church.

Service – There are those who have been called to PCC who serve this body in incredible ways:

    1. Don & Denise’s coffee and fireside crew.
    2. Paul Brewington, Mike Hancock and others who volunteer to do odd construction jobs around the church.
    3. Jim Koons and his weed killing crew.
    4. Jeanne Fallon and her cleaning crew.

Administration & leadership

    1. Leadership Team – Clayton & John
    2. Trustees – Jim, Don, George, Dana, John

Giving

    1. We have been given many who gift above and beyond to support this body.

Teaching

    1. Debbie and Trina who lead and have led Life Kid’s

Worship and Praise

    1. The Praise Team
    2. Sound team

Artistic ability

    1. Barbara Burns
    2. Joy Koons and the bulletin

I could go on and on about this but I think you are hearing what I am saying.

To be effective every member of the body must know their place and purpose in the body. What has God called you to do? What gifts has He given you? One thing God will do is

We must learn to rejoice with those who are rejoice and with those who suffer. When we are functioning correctly we will know how to rejoice and how to suffer with one another.

The question has been asked “why do some churches make it and others do not” I believe is partially answered in the past part of this verse:

  1. We fail to honor all that attend the church regardless of their social position and stand within the community.
  2. That we allow division and competition to steer and guide what we do.
  3. We fail to learn to rejoice together and we learn to suffer together. You see it is sometimes easy to suffer together but is often hard to rejoice when someone else makes it.


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