This weekend I spoke at an evangelical event in Southwest Virginia. Churches from relatively small towns came together for an evening of music, drama, and speaking with the goal of hosting an event where youth and parents would commit to deeper relationships with Jesus Christ.
All I can say is – it worked! Six hundred people, almost all families, worshiped together and at the end many came forward to pray as God moved.
Late that night, I reflected on everything that occured. Of all we saw, and there were many moments, the thought I returned to repeatedly was the teamwork of the churches. A team of churches came together to put on an event none could have accomplished on their own. The mission of reaching kids for Jesus was simply too big. Cooperation was an essential, harmony a must – and to see churches work seamlessly with both was powerful.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes the church this way, he writes,
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Paul knew believers would play different roles within the church. He also knew, though, how indespinsable each part was to the mission of the church. As Paul carried the metaphor forward, he understood for the church to succeed each person, each church, each part of the body was essential. The mission was simply too big for any one part to accomplish it on its own, it would take the body or as we might say today – a team.
Paul is still correct. His words are not just church yesterday, they are church today.
Part of Paul’s thinking is revealed in the last phrase – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
The Holy Spirit leads us to missions beyond ourselves. Paul is teaching us how the Holy Spirit works and offering us a clue. If your mission does not require you to ask for help the mission is too small, and we might do better to ask Jesus first – who do you want me to work with – and then second – Jesus, what do you need us to do.
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