Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Value of a Church Family

Dwight L. Moody, an American evangelist powerfully exclaimed, “Show me a church where
there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community.”  His declaration encapsulates what a church family should become—a community influence. Romans 12:4-8 showed us what being in a church family looks like: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

There are four main bones in every organization:
·      The wish-bones: Wishing somebody would do something about the problem.
·      The jaw-bones: Doing all the talking but very little else.
·      The knuckle-bones: Those who knock everything.
·      The back-bones: Those who carry the brunt of the load and do most of the work. ~Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 16-17.

The question is this: what kind of bone are you playing in your church family?

Here are some biblical facts to remember: (a) We are one body with many members, “For as in one body we have many members…” v4a; (b) Each member has different functions, “…and the members do not all have the same function…” v4b; (c) We are inter-connected through Christ, “…so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” v5; (d) Gifts are given differently in proportion to our faith level and expected to be used, v6-8, i.e., prophecy, serving, teaching, exhorting, generosity, leadership and compassion

In order to appreciate being part of a church family, we need to define what a church is:
  • It is a place to become accountable in living the Christian life with like-minded believers: “But too often we confuse love with permissiveness. It is not love to fail to dissuade another believer from sin any more than it is love to fail to take a drink away from an alcoholic or matches away from a baby. True fellowship out of love for one another demands accountability.”~ Source Unknown
  • It is a place to connect for spiritual growth with like-minded believers: Plant a tree and it begins to grow; set a post and it begins to decay. Which are you, a tree or a post?—The Moody Bible Institute Monthly.
  • It is a place to commit in serving God with like-minded believers: Whatever is done for God, without respect of its comparative character as related to other acts, is service, and only that is service. Service is, comprehensively speaking, doing the will of God. He is the object. All is for Him, for His sake, as unto the Lord, not as unto man. Hence, even the humblest act of humblest disciple acquires a certain divine quality by its being done with reference to Him. The supreme test of service is this: 'For whom am I doing this?' Much that we call service to Christ is not such at all....If we are doing this for Christ, we shall not care for human reward or even recognition. Our work must again be tested by three propositions: Is it work from God, as given us to do from Him; for God, as finding in Him its secret of power; and with God, as only a part of His work in which we engage as co-workers with Him." ~A.T. Pierson wrote, The Truth. 

Here’s an interesting poem entitled “If You Want to Kill the Church” and let a thorough self-evaluation be done of what we are doing: contributing to a church life or killing it.

Never go to your church or meetings held there, 

If you do go, be late, it's no one's affair.

If the weather is bad, either too hot or snowing, 

Just stay home and rest, for there'll be others going.
But should you attend, be sure and remember 

To find fault with the work, each official and member. 

Be sure to hold back on your offerings and tithes, 

The bills will be paid by the rest of the guys.
And never take office if offered the post, 

But eagerly criticize work of the host.

If not on a committee you're placed, be sore! 

If you find that you are, don't attend any more.

When asked your opinion on this thing or that, 

Have nothing to say, just turn 'em down flat. 

Then after the meeting, shine out like the sun 

By telling the folks how it should have been done.
Don't do any more than you possibly can, 

Leave the work for some other woman or man. 

And when you see faithful ones work themselves sick, 

Then stand up and holler, "It's run by a clique!"
Source Unknown.

Let’s talk again!