I’m halfway through this helpful book: A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church by Megan Hill. Each chapter is a short exposition and application of the various metaphors in Scripture for the church: flock, body, saints, etc. It’s good biblical resource on the nature of the church and what it means to be a living member of a local church family. Here’s one section I highlighted this morning:
Thankfully, the particular composition of the church doesn’t depend on us. Continuing the image of the church as a body, Paul writes, ‘But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each of them, as he chose’ (1 Cor. 12:18). The truth of 1 Corinthians 12 is that however it might appear, the people and gifts represented in our local church are exactly the people and gifts we need. A few verses later, Paul flatly dismisses any suggestion that some people or gifts are more necessary for the body’s well being than others: ‘The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (12:21-22).
This truth should give you confidence: your particular gifts have a valuable, God-appointed place. It should also humble you: your particular gifts are simply one part of the body, and you desperately need other people with their particular gifts (see Rom. 12:3). Finally, this truth should increase your love for the local church: the gifts in the body are exactly what God knows your congregation needs. Because of God’s sovereign choosing, no part is missing, and every part is valuable.
That’s so true! If you’re a follower of Christ, God has given you gifts to use in the service of other people, including his family. You and your God-given gifts are needed in the local church. But don’t get proud, because you also need the gifts of others to help you along in following Christ. In other words, a local church family is a felllowship of Christians who need one another!
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015