1 Corinthians 12:12-14: For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Fall is here, which for me translates into one of the happiest times of the year. Yes, many people look to the Fall as time for warm drinks, cool days, and Fall decorations but for me it means one thing: College Football is back! As a kid who grew up in Iowa, Saturdays in the Fall are special because that means Iowa Hawkeye football is back up and running. Since Iowa has no professional football teams it makes these days all the more exciting.
My love of football is somewhat different than most. While I enjoy watching my team play and cheering them on throughout the season I must admit that I am an equal opportunity football watcher. I enjoy watching teams other than my own because I love how they play together.
What makes football great is that each player has a responsibility and a job that must be executed in order for that team to be successful. The church, oddly enough, operates the same way.
Paul writes to the Church at Corinth to instruct them on how they should understand the church and the way that it operates. He wants this church that has struggled with division to understand the importance of each member’s responsibility on a given Lord’s day.
- Every Member is Valuable
In the church world it is easy to think of certain people as more important than another. We think that the pastor is more valuable than anyone else because he preaches. We think that the praise team is more valuable than others because they lead in worship. Rarely, if ever, does anyone argue that the person working in the nursery is of infinite worth or value. However, Paul says that each member, when they are fulfilling their responsibility, brings value to the team. It is easy for us to think that we don’t contribute much to our church on a given Sunday but the Bible teaches that this line of thinking is wrong.
- The Members Make Up the Team
Each member in addition to the value and worth that they have is a part of a larger picture, the church. Each member, when living out their responsibility, helps the church to run the way that it was designed to run. So yes, there can only be one quarterback on the team, but without the linemen, receivers, running backs, coaches, trainers, and others his job becomes impossible. Much like the church, the pastor may be the only one that preaches but without everyone else involved he cannot do his job effectively. What you do and where you serve is important to the well-being of your church. So in case someone hasn’t told you in a while: Thank you! What you do is important.
- It is impossible to be a part of the team if you are missing
Regular church attendance and serving is a component of your spiritual growth. When you miss church you impact not only yourself but those that you serve. This does not mean that you have to be at church when you are sick or never go on vacation but it does mean that we should think about how much we are going to miss church. If you saw what you did at church as impactful to others, how much would you be gone? The team needs you and me and everyone in between. It is impossible for us to accomplish the task if we are casual in how we view coming to church.
Maybe it’s time for a few more of us to check into the game. To get into the lifeblood of our church. Unlike Saturdays this Fall that don’t matter in eternity what we do in church and serving Christ will matter for all of eternity. May we understand the importance of the church for our growth and the growth of those who attend with us.