A Unified Whole

March 9, 2010
by Ivie Bozeman

1 Corinthians 12:12 – The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 – There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (NIV)

In the church where I grew up, there were no paid positions except a pastor who was shared with another church. All the members used the gifts God had given them to keep the church functioning as the Body of Christ. All the different parts fit together into a well-organized unit.

We had teachers, pianists, soloists and music leaders, bookkeepers, cooks, and yard maintenance people. One group washed windows. One man designated himself to clean and care for the stained glass windows. Other groups mopped the floors and kept the classrooms clean.

One dedicated lady cleaned the sanctuary. Her gift was to make things shine. There was never a spot on the rug, or a song book out of place on the back of the pews. The woodwork and altar rails shone like jewels after she had finished polishing them. There was always an aroma of freshness in the air. She was proud of her contribution to her church. To her, this was no menial chore. It was her gift to her Lord and to her church.

One group built and maintained a picnic area on the church's front lawn for travellers to stop and rest on their journey.

One family kept a guest bedroom for church visitors to stay in during revivals and other church activities. The preacher's family was always invited to someone's home for Sunday dinner.

Ephesians 4:16 – From [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV)

Both we and the church lose when we do not contribute our gifts. Even though most of the jobs today are done by hired employees, there are still areas where we can be supporting ligaments of the church.

Prayer: Lord, open our minds and hearts. Show us what gift we can share to strengthen our church and make it more like Your body. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Ivie Bozeman <ivie@rose.net>
Thomasville, Georgia, USA

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