Yesterday was week number two in our series called, Make Your Mark. Last week, we looked at how each Christian is gifted by the Holy Spirit to take part in God’s work here on earth. Basically, if God calls us- God will equip us.
This week, we looked at the second half of 1 Corinthians 12 and Paul’s image or metaphor of the church as a body- specifically the body of Christ. Each believer has a role (or gift) to use in the body of Christ. For the Body to function properly- everyone must use their gifts. Throughout the chapter, Paul highlights unity within diversity (12:4, 5,6, 11, 12, 13, 20, 25-26). As the physical manifestation of the body of Christ in the world, the Church is to find unity amongst it’s many members, gifts, experiences, and dreams.
Of course, unity is quite the challenge. How does a church, made up of many individuals find unity- where does it find unity.
Jesus is the obvious answer. We call ourselves Christians because of our faith in Jesus and our desire to daily surrender our lives and live as a disciple. Without Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, and resurrection- there is no Church, no body. Our unity is found in Jesus- and the mission that Jesus calls us to take part in as Christians.
Fellow UMC Pastor and Blogger Matt Lipan wrote a post last week about vision and mission (read it here). In the post, he gives what I thought was a helpful image. In our organizations and churches, we can get lost in the sea of vision, mission, values, purpose, etc. What is needed in the turbulent is an anchor point to provide stability. He suggest, and I agree, that the anchor point is mission.
The Church is often described as the hands and feet of Jesus. If that is true, our unity as the body is found in our common salvation and experiences of God’s grace- and the mission that God has called us to. This mission is too Love God and love others (Mark 12:29-31) and to make disciples (Matt 28.19-20). There are many things in the Church that we can discuss and debate, but our anchor is Jesus and the mission to love others and to make disciples of all nations. This is where we find our stability.
Where does your church or ministry find it’s anchor? How do you keep the mission of the Church the main thing? Are there other anchors that you’d suggest?
I couldn’t help but think of a classic ’90’s song while studying this passage last week: Johnny Q. Public’s, “Body Be.”