“Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together . . .the whole body grows from Christ, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does their part.” Ephesians 4:2b-3, 16 (CEB)
This theme is something I preach all the time. Sometimes I wonder if anyone really listens. I’m mean, it’s not like I just made it up; it’s very Biblical! Yet, I continue to see people who “push their own agendas” because they think their way is the only way. Or I DON’T see people doing their part yet expecting to have things done correctly (at least according to their way of thinking).
Criticisms continue, and complaining sometimes really gets under my skin. I wonder if the Body of Christ really can work together! And then, I sit in my office and look at the church directory and KNOW that there are people in the congregation who are doing their part and really working at mission and ministry together. They may not always agree, but they still have cooperation and commitment so that the work is accomplished for Christ.
It is in those faces that I am reminded that Christ is at work in all churches regardless of whether or not they work the way WE want them. After all, verse 15 reads, “let’s grow in every way into Christ who is the head.” It’s good to remind ourselves every day that Christ is the head of the church. Church leaders (pastors, lay leaders, heads of committees, church school superintendents, and a variety of other folks) might tend to let their leadership positions influence how highly they think of themselves. And yet, when we get right down to it, this scripture passage from Ephesians reminds us that we ALL have role to play and NO ONE is more important than anyone else!
Yes, I wonder if what I preach is heard – I think it is by at lease some folks. I know I listen to myself! My goal isn’t to create uniformity in the church, but to find unity so we can keep moving forward for Christ.
What gifts do you offer to your congregation?
How do you see your gifts as part of the greater good?
In what ways do you honor all people’s gifts?