The Body of Christ, the Church, a wonderfully diverse organism

Paul in I Corinthians 12 is helping the Corinthian congregation understand what it takes for the church to be a healthy church, one in which all members are celebrated and affirmed. The Corinthian congregation had become confused about what it takes to be the church. The gifts of the spirit, which were more showy and obvious, were felt to be better than the simpler gifts, therefore causing division in the Church.

Paul uses the analogy of a person’s body to help them understand that all the parts, every member of the church, is vital in the function and purpose that it brings to the body. So it is with every member of The Body of Christ, the Church. One body with many members, all equally important.
In our day, many things are being said about the church, within and without. Within, members can be very critical and competitive with each other or express deep frustration that the church is not seemingly able to bring in new members because the church seems to have lost its importance in society. Church attendance in most communities seems to be at an all time low and fewer people seem to be called to share the gifts of the spirit which they have. They are discouraged about being the church and many have given up.

On the outside, people say that they believe in God, and in this country many proclaim that they are guided by Christian principals but they have no need to be part of The Church, The Body of Christ. They say things like: “I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person.” and “I don’t need or want to be a part of a church.” They are not motivated to be part of the Church and are just as critical of all faith groups, not only Christianity.

It is no doubt a challenging day to be the Church. There is so much miss-information out there both within and without the church and what it means to be a part of the church, the Body of Christ. This gives church leaders a great deal of concern as to the future of the Body of Christ, particularly in this country. Many fear the fact that their particular denomination may not exist in the future. Seminary enrollments are down and one can become an ‘ordained’ pastor by filling out a form and paying some money and start their own church. Why spend years in theological study?
So what do we do?

We can start within the church and truly give thanks for each other and the gifts of the spirit that we each bring. We are a wonderfully diverse organism! Criticizing each other in congregations or denominationally will not attract, but affirming each other and proclaiming equal status to all cannot have an adverse affect. Being Christ’s to each and to all will never have negative impact!