The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NLT
What makes for a healthy church?
Is it consistent programming? Is it excellence in production? Is it constant numerical growth?
Or is it something that cannot be measured, only observed?
What if the definition of a healthy church was shared oneness?
I’m not talking about everyone agreeing to some external standard of what we value and believe that someone else came up with. I’m talking about family.
Think about it. A family is a standard unit of people, each individuals, who are bound by blood and covenant, with the goal of surviving, hopefully thriving, and eventually multiplying.
What if the church was the family of God as Scripture says? What if we weren’t overly concerned about reaching the pinnacle of our own potential but instead were concerned about nurturing the potential in the next generation? What do you think would happen? Would that change things?
The Scriptures are clear. The church is the Body of Christ. Jesus is the Head of the household. What would happen if we let Jesus lead and guide us instead of our own imaginations? Would we then see God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven?
The model for church laid out in the Bible speaks of the priesthood of all believers. The clergy-laity split is a holdover from Old Testament thinking. We’re under the New Covenant now. We all have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ.
What does it take for a local church body to be healthy, growing and full of love? Shared oneness with Christ and each other. No one is more important than another. We each have something to contribute as Christ enables us through grace.
Discerning the will of God is of prime importance for a healthy church. 1 Corinthians 14 addresses the need for every word of prophecy to be confirmed by 2 or more witnesses. If God is speaking to us, when we compare notes, they should agree. Otherwise, we’re hearing something other than the Spirit of God.
God gave you gifts and abilities. Not to exploit for worldly gain, but to serve others in love to help them grow to full maturity in Christ.
There is One Body of Christ. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can walk in unity with the Spirit. Lies separate us. Truth restores fellowship. Be one with Christ, and each other.
Lord, lead us. Amen.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.Ephesians 4:15-16 NLT