Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
Romans 12:3-5 (NLT)
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,
5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
We (and I refer to the church in general) have done church based on a misconception. The misconception has to do with how we think church should work. For far too long we have seen the Pastor as the one who ministers (or in many cases entertains) the rest of the congregation. Once, to prove a point, I told some of the members of my congregation that I was going to skip church the next day to go to a football game. Their response to me was as expected, they said, “You can’t do that, you’re paid to be there!” Herein lies the misconception; the Pastor is the hired hand and is required to be there, but if we don’t feel like going we can stay in bed and no one will miss us. According to Paul that is backwards thinking. He says in his letter to the Ephesian church, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12, NLT). In Paul’s mind, the Pastor’s job is to teach or train the members of the congregation to minister, and not for them to be the one whose responsibility it is to minister. He likewise, here in his letter to the Roman church says, “Just as 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.” Again we have this misconception that the only one who truly needs to be in church is the Pastor, and we are free to attend if we feel like it or we don’t have something more important to do (as if anything is more important than worshiping God). According to Paul we are all members of the body of Christ, and therefore, if we are missing so is a part of the body. Anyone who has had a knee or back go out on them knows what it’s like when a portion of our body is out of action. Not only does that part of our body suffer, but our entire body suffers. Therefore, if you choose not to be actively involved in church you are not only hurting yourself, you are hurting the entire church. You are important, in fact you are vital. Something to think about!