1 Corinthians 12:27-28 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has placed these in the church…”
What does being a part of the body entail?
Do we do our own thing? Sometimes.
Are we a part of the collective body, known as the Church? Yes.
Will we always see eye to eye (body of Christ pun intended)…? No.
But sometimes I think we get the idea of what being a part of the body of Christ wrong.
Especially when it comes to ‘membership’ in that same body.
Thom Rainer, in his book “I am a church member” puts it like this; “It was a big deal for this young boy living in the small Southern town. I didn’t know what a country club was, but I knew one was coming to town…I began to learn a lesson. Membership means perks. Membership means privileges. Membership means others will serve me. Just pay the going rate, and you can have others taking care of you while you enjoy a life of leisure.
And, tragically, this understanding of membership is what many church members hold. “This is my church, so you have to play the music just the way I want it.” “Look pastor, you need to remember who pays your salary.” “If you don’t do this program, I’ll withhold my check to the church.” “I’ve been a member of this church for over thirty years, so I have a right to get what I want.” “I don’t pay good money to this church to listen to sermons that long.”
Okay, get the picture. Those unfortunately typical comments come from members of church who have an unbiblical view of membership. Their view of membership is more aligned with county club membership…“.
I think Thom Rainer is right.
How many times do we pull the “church privilege card”?
How often have we either, subconsciously or consciously, decided that we deserve to be served instead of servants? How often have we lorded our assumed membership privilege over pastors, youth pastors, staff members, worship team etc?
Didn’t Jesus himself say, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”? So what gives us the right to pay homage to ‘service’ by words but not deeds? Shouldn’t the latter precede the former?
Dear Church member…don’t be an appendix.
What do I mean by that?
A body is made up of many parts. The legs, the arms, the eyes, the head, the tongue…are all irreplaceable parts, but then there are parts that can be removed and the body can go on without ever missing that former part. The tonsils, the gall bladder, the appendix. Don’t be an appendix in the body of Christ.
These parts can flare up, cause problems, discourage healthy living only to be cut away from the body because the infection has become too dangerous, too toxic to the body as a whole.
Do we risk becoming an appendix by way of our infectious personalities and constant need to be served? Do we risk poisoning the body with our tempers when things don’t go our way, or with the words we choose to lash out with that are not healthy or wholesome to this very same body?
Questions to Ponder:
Have I misunderstood my role as a member of the body of Christ?
Am I more prepared to be served than to serve?
Do I have an unhealthy view of the ‘pecking order’ of those within the body of Christ? And have I placed myself as more important than those that I have judged and deemed to be lesser than me?
Have I become an appendix rather than a vital part of the body of Christ?
Do I need to repent of the way I have acted or treated others?
Dear Brother and Sister in Christ, don’t be an appendix…Do not live as a master of others, but rather roll up your selves and genuinely serve regardless (or especially) if anyone else is noticing.
Something more for the Body of Christ to Ponder today.