You must be wondering what's the link? Is it because many church goers end up having a nice big lunch or dinner after church? Or, as what my church pastor once said, one of the dishes served at lunch on Sundays is "Fried Pastor" where the diners will criticise or condemn the pastor for a boring, uninspiring or lengthy sermon in the morning. More often than not, pastors are made scapegoats for whatever that is not going right in a church. If the church is low on funds, pastors are blamed for not raising enough funds. If the church is low on the number of ministers, pastors are blamed for not raising enough church workers. If the church is divided, pastors are blamed for taking sides.
But really, we (believers) are all in one-body. The body of Christ, that is. And yet, we expect the pastors or the church workers to serve the rest of the church. Who then serves them? Christ has called upon his followers to remain in Him and be united as well as to serve one another. Unfortunately, in today's world, much of the work of the church is left to a minority few whilst the rest warm the pews. What would the effect be?
The last two days has been quite discomforting to me as I was having a rather bloaty stomach. This is the second time I have been experiencing this, the last being in April. It gets worse after a meal and the abdomen feels a bit tighter than usual (no, not that I have abs like Daniel Craig). Let's just say it feels much better when the belt is loosen and you'll get the picture. As I pondered on this, it made me realise how the body is meant to function independently as well as cooperatively. If one part is not working well, the other parts suffer. So, I was not in a good mood the last two days due to the stomach discomfort.
This morning, I rummaged through the fridge and found some of the medication I took last April and immediately popped in the pills. It worked. My stomach does not feel as bloaty now and meals are more enjoyable. I do exercise caution with my food today and tried to take lighter food...just in case.
And so it is with the church. All followers of Christ are meant to take up their cross and serve one another in love as commanded by Him. To leave it to the church leaders alone can cause much discomfort to the body of Christ (the Church) as it is impossible for the church leaders to serve the rest of the church. How do you expect a pastor to serve (conduct visitations, hospital visits, counsel, conduct wake service, etc) for a large congregation? Even if the church has say...500 members, the pastor can only visit each member once every 2 years! Would the member feel that he has been "taken cared" by the pastor? Probably not. It is not surprising then, that there are much dissatisfaction by church members with their church life. Church life becomes mundane and a drag. There is no sense of community and care being experienced on a personal level. What if...say, what if the church members start to serve one another in various capacities? Some as hosts, some as prayer partners, some as counsellors, some in visitation, some in ministering to the sick, some in worship ministry, and the list goes on. You can just imagine how fulfilling the church body will be and how it would be able to move and touch the lives of many.
1 Cor 12: 12 - 28 clearly illustrates God's desired model for his church.
12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
A story is told that one day, there was a meeting by the various organs of a human body. The heart said "I am the most important. If I were to stop beating, the body will cease to live". The hand said "If I don't help to take the food to feed this body, there will be no energy to feed the heart's pumping and the body will cease to live". The leg said "If I don't walk to the food source, the hand won't be able to reach for the food in the first place". The brain interjected "If not for me, you won't even think of finding the food". Just then, the anus said "I am also important. Don't look down on me". The rest of the organs laughed at the anus saying that he is of no use and is foul. Next day, after the brain told the leg to walk somewhere so that the hand can get food to feed the body and get the heart pumping, the anus decided to call a strike. Ladies and gentlemen, what will happen if the anus decide not to work? You figure it out.
It is time to wake up and start functioning as a body of Christ. I hope you are not on strike. Are you?
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