Copyright 2023 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.
Today we are praying for Unity in the Church. Unity among believers is very important and Paul illustrates this in 1 Corinthians 12. Our verses for today are above, but I want you to read the whole passage he writes from verse 12 to verse 31. Paul compares the church to the human body showing how the wide diversity of gifts assures unity in the church. Each gift contributes something necessary to the common life and growth of the whole. To learn this in a practical since we need to learn a term that will help us.
Independence is a term we need to replace in the church with Interdependence. Independence says, I can do it myself. Interdependence says, I cannot do it alone, we need each other. The goal of Interdependence in the church, and among all churches, is to reflect the unity of the body of Christ in the center of its diversity. God has gifted different parts of the body, including different congregations with specific missions, to build up the whole. As the body (church) functions in the way God intends, He uses it to draw alienated people of different circumstances to the good news of Jesus Christ. Interdependence is difficult to develop in a culture that insists on doing things its own way and having its own rights, but to minister reconciliation we must learn it. If we want to live Interdependently, we must learn to appreciate the uniqueness of others, and learn to need what others bring to the relationship. Interdependence supplies different needs inside the church, which balances the whole.
This is kind of like Mutual Identity, where someone's great amount supplies what others lack, leading to a shared helping of each other which balances the whole. This means everyone needs to be involved, not just a group of people inside the church. It's a proven fact that 20% of church members do 80% of the volunteering, using their gifts to fulfill the great commission of the church. That means 80% of the people do little to nothing for the body (church). Imagine if we all contribute to the body (church) what we could accomplish. Individual relationships with Jesus will always be important, but we must also see ourselves as living members of Christ's body. We must move from individualism and lift up the gathering and function of the local church. Utilize your gifts for the good of the whole body, The Church!