How Do We Function Together?
The Church is a messy place, as it should be. It is full of imperfect and broken people and hypocrites. That would include all of us. The good news is that Jesus came for sinners. Mark 2:17 says, “And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” The fact is, there are none righteous. We know this to be true, but Romans 3:10-18 serves as a reminder:
“As it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18 ESV)
Just a few verses later we find a scripture that we are very familiar with. Romans 3:23, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (emphasis added by me).
So there is no question that we are all sinners. We are all messed up. We are all broken. We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We all have fallen short. The question is, how do we function together as the body of Christ? How do we work with each other? How do we overcome bad attitudes and differences within the church? Those are some tough questions that make life in the local church hard at times.
I didn’t grow up in church. So, in the past 20 years, I have gone from knowing nothing about the church, to working in the local church for the past 14 years. It has been an adventure to say the least! As a full-time vocational minister, I have seen the struggles and battles within the church first hand. I have received complaints, criticisms, and judgment. I have seen fights, quarrels, and other ministers treated very poorly. I have seen a place where sin and brokenness show themselves often. But more importantly, I have seen lives changed, redemption, and have been encouraged, lifted up, blessed, mentored, and guided by the church and it’s people.
When we accept who we are in Christ, what his purpose is for the church, and us as its members, we will experience much more positive than negative in the church. When we choose to serve like Jesus and not come to be served, we will gain the correct and biblical perspective.
The series that we are going through based on the book “I Am A Church Member” by Thom S. Rainer, has been such an enlightening study for me. If you haven’t read through the book, I would highly encourage you to do so. I just read through it a second time before writing this article. It took a little less than an hour to read the whole book, and I’m a pretty slow reader! This is such a valuable read. It offers great perspective and great reminders about what it means to be a functioning member of the body of Christ. It has helped me personally to identify some areas where I have fallen short as a church member, areas where I’m not pulling my weight. I really think you would gain a lot by reading it. It serves as a great reminder to me that I should not complain about other members of the church, their preferences, or their shortcomings, but rather that I should focus on what kind of church member I am. I can effect change through the kind of church member I am. And so can you!
Tates Creek Christian Church is not a perfect church. There is no such thing, because churches consist of people, and there are no perfect people. However, we do worship a God who is perfect. A God who saves and redeems. As long as we keep our focus and our mindset on God and His Kingdom, we will go a long way in functioning as the church God wants us to be.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve alongside such wonderful people! Thank you all for allowing me to serve with you! May God bless this church and may we become a church fully submitted to Him!