The Apostle Paul writes to a church in the city of Corinth that was fractured by division and encourages them toward unity. In the first few chapters, he lies out both theological and practical reasons for them to see other believers with a sense of togetherness. When he is about three-quarters of the way through his letter, he gives them an analogy to underline the necessity of community. There he says, “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.” (1 Corinthians 12:12 – NIV)
The Church is like a body made of many parts. Some parts are large and prominent and receive a great deal of attention. Some pieces are smaller and less glorious, but they are still important. To understand this, you must look no further than your own physical body. A heart problem can send you running to the emergency room, but so can a broken finger. Both parts are different, but they are both important.
I think Christians need to be continually reminded of the importance of working together.
1. Every Single Part is Important. The last Sunday I watched people show up early to our church facility to shovel snow. While I looked at them working, I could not help but think; this might be one of the most important jobs of the day. Whatever happens inside will only make an impact if people can get in safely. The people who clean, work in the nursery, empty trash, mow, shovel and do a hundred other little jobs are just as important as the preacher.
2. One Missing Part Hurts Everyone. It is easy for us to think, “My part is so small, it is really insignificant.” When we think that way, we can skip doing our job or hope that someone else will do it for us. What would happen if no one ever emptied the trash? What would happen if no one watched the kids in the nursery? What would happen if people don’t do their ministry? If no one else served but me, the church would not be able to preach or teach or do much for God.
3. Serving is the Ultimate Act of Community. When you serve in some little way, you are saying to the whole group, “I think this is an important community.” You are highlighting that this place deserves your time and energy. You may not receive any recognition or glory for what you do, but that is okay because the whole group is accomplishing something.
Every week I have the opportunity to walk around our church and see the Lord working in a hundred little pieces. The facilities stay functional, people are taught in small groups, programs are handed out, worship is lead, the outside remains beautiful and on and on it goes. This is the result of everyone doing a hundred small jobs together.
Maybe today you need to be reminded that what you do for God is essential. No matter how small and insignificant you feel, you are a blessing to this community of believers we call the church.