Do we have a pastor system?

Protestant pastors face these statistics:

We mimic so much Protestant behavior. Let us restore the multiplicity of gifts and functions in the body of Christ. Let us reject the language and customs of Protestantism. Since when the did word “minister” refer to a full-time paid servant — but that’s how we use it. We mask our pastor-system with different language, but it’s present nonetheless. Everybody says preachers work “for” a certain congregation, and they do, because they are employees, not engaging in the service of God. This may not be true in every place, but it is in enough congregations to make it a problem. And our schools reinforce it. Do you see it?

#preacheritis #pastor-system #body-of-Christ

Every living part of the body is important

Every living part of the body is important right down to the big-toe. Don’t think so? Just ask this woman!

Some in the church may feel like they’re not important to the church because they’re not the preacher, or one of the elders or deacons, or the song-leader, or one of the many Bible-class teachers that have touched so many lives – but every member of the church (which is the body of Christ) is important because you never know what kind of an effect you may have on the life of the body.

If you’re a living member of the body of Christ you are important!

When it comes to the life you bring to the body: your attendance at the services matter, your visits matter, your cards of encouragement matter, your financial contributions matter, your Bible-class input matters, your personal example at work and with your own family members matter, your prayers matter, and your evangelistic efforts with family, friends and strangers matter.

No matter how you may feel about your role in the church, if you’re a living member of the body – you matter to God.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?” (1 Corinthians 12:15-19 – NKJV)

#body-of-christ, #church-membership, #membership

The life we share in the body of Christ

The apostle Paul practiced what he urged the Roman saints to do in Rom 12.15, to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep:”

Christians are joined in the body of Christ. What happens to one affects the other. “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation?” 2 Cor 11.29. —QBT

In English we use the figure of speech about being joined at the hip. (Is that phrase still politically correct?) It means that people are very closely connected. Continue reading

#body-of-christ, #fellowship, #unity

Speak to save

God saves people when the gospel is taught to them.

Only through speaking the gospel can people be saved. Without speaking, no salvation occurs. A good example is not sufficient. Others must be taught, Ac 11.14; 1Th 2.16. —QBT

Much talk, ironically, is given to how useless words are. Continue reading

#body-of-christ, #evangelism, #salvation

Pursue, Invest, Discover

Pursue your gifts, use freely
for the good of all what God
has given you. Put thought and time
and energy at the service
of people. No greater good
can you do than to build up others.
Do not invest in things,
but in relationships,
in discovering who we are
as a community, as a family.
And in that process, God
reveals himself, and we
come to know the liberating truth.

#body-of-christ, #gifts-of-service, #poetry

Church Membership an Option?

There are a lot of religious people in the world who consider themselves to be something akin to Lone Ranger Christians. By that I mean they believe they can avoid the church all together and still be pleasing to God. To those with that mentality I would ask if they could provide one single example of a person in the Bible (who was a Christian living under the days of the New Covenant) that intentionally avoided gathering with, participating with and identifying with the church who was still pleasing to God in his or her actions.

I completely understand that various personalities and opinions create conflict within the church (think Paul and Barnabas and Mark), but when such happens the church herself is not meant to be the one who bears the brunt of the faults of others. In other words, when two (or more) brothers and sisters in Christ get into a personal spat they should not take it out on the church by withdrawing his or her support on multiple levels. Humility, support, seeking the interest of others and the squashing of one’s ego go a long way in these situations (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:15-18). I also know that more often than not it’s the other person’s fault, but regardless of that matter if one withdraws their own fellowship from the church it’s now their own fault. Even when this is the case the church is encouraged to remember this one who has been overtaken in a fault lest the mentality spreads (Galatians 6:1-4).

The simple fact of the matter is that church membership is not an option to the one who seeks to please God. The blood of Jesus was spilt to purchase the church (Acts 20:28), and Jesus is the Savior of His body which is His church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23), and when one reads the scriptures they will see people who sought to be (or who were at least encouraged to be) active members of God’s church by being an active member of the collective body and her activities (1 Corinthians 12:18-20; Hebrews 10:24-25).

One can find many options in life, but church membership is not one of them if one considers his or her salvation to be important.

“…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

#body-of-christ, #christianity, #church, #church-membership, #solo-christianity

Life is in the body of Christ

Question for our Fellows and guests: How do you show the truth from Scripture that outside the body of Christ there is no life? I’m always interested in learning more and apply Scripture in a better way.

#body-of-christ, #in-christ, #salvation

Sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially

“Every act of self-discipline by a Christian is also a service to the community. Conversely, there is no sin in thought, word, or deed, no matter how personal or secret, that does not harm the whole community. When the cause of an illness gets into one’s body, whether or not anyone knows where it comes from, or in what member it has lodged, the body is made ill. This is the appropriate metaphor for the Christian community. Every member serves the whole body, contributing either to its health or to its ruin, for we are members of one body not only when we want to be, but in our whole existence. This is not a theory, but a spiritual reality that is often experienced in the Christian community with shocking clarity, sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” —Romans 12:4-5

#body-of-christ, #church-as-body, #dietrich-bonhoeffer, #influence

Daily Nudge: talents wanted

If God were to give you another talent or ability, what would you want it to be? Did you ever feel the need or desire to have a gift that you lacked? Have you ever asked the Lord for a talent you didn’t have, or tried to develop this ability in yourself?

Obviously, the Spirit gives gifts to whom he will, “distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things” (1 Cor. 12:11 NET). And we confess that “each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that” (1 Cor. 7: 7). And Paul says that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29).

We ought not wish to be rid of one gift and desire another, for the sake of recognition or to impress, as did the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 12-14). But surely we’ve had moments when we desired a different gift in order to be useful in the kingdom?

#abilities, #body-of-christ, #gifts, #nudge, #talents