One Body, different Members
Excel Church has just returned from our annual ‘Strength Will Rise’ Church weekend away. What a blessed weekend it was! The strength of Excel Church lies in its diversity. Having a diverse congregation provides ample opportunities for building on our rich cultural capital. We are also able to develop the open mindedness and tolerance that come from engaging with different cultures, ideas and viewpoints of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
There is no doubt that a diverse church brings with it some challenges, but below are some thoughts that can ensure that we are focussed on being one body, despite many members (1 Corinthians, 12: 12-31).
· When we come to faith in Christ, we are all baptised to one body. While we are not all the same (in the same way that parts of the human body are different), each one of us is important to the health of the church.
· There can be unity in diversity. Once there is a shared vision, we each simply need to reflect on what as individuals, we can bring to that vision ‘table’. Every member of the church has a part to play.
· Avoid comparisons. God is the giver of gifts and we must trust in the wisdom of the giver. Each one of us has been given our own special ‘place’ in the body and we must work hard at cultivating our personal giftings without feeling the need to be someone else. God specialises in creating originals, not duplicates! You are an original. Be proud of who you are.
· Every member of the body has equal value. We must show real and equal care and concern for each other because we all matter. ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.’ (1 Corinthians, 12: 26)
God’s design for his church is that we remain one body however diverse the members.