Body ministry

We were at a different church on Sunday. Visiting somewhere else that isn’t your home church, particularly when you are in leadership, can allow you to step back and look at your home church with fresh eyes. There were certain things we really enjoyed – and others that we missed from our ‘home’. One of the latter was the growing instances of contributions from the congregation – starting up songs, bringing prayers and scripture readings, singing spiritual songs and bringing prophecies and words. It made me reflect afresh on the scripture about this: 1 Corinthians 14:26, ‘ 26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.’  I think the key here is the last phrase ‘so that the church may be built up’. Okay sometimes it can get quite messy – or the contributions take the meeting off course as far as your prepared song list is concerned if you are the worship leader. But surely being family together means that our worship times are times for everyone to contribute. We all have giftings – and all can hear from God. Nowhere in the Bible have I found a reference to the worship leader being in charge, rather it says that when we come together ‘each of’ us has something to bring. I wonder what our churches would be like if every single member of the congregation came to church willing and prepared to contribute… I know as churches get larger the need for more organisation is necessary but I really hope as we grow even more we don’t stifle what the Holy Spirit is doing, don’t dampen people’s enthusiasm for bringing contributions. I so firmly believe in ‘body ministry’ – that we are all priests and God uses us all – and love to see this reflected not only on our Sunday mornings but in the way we care for one another during the week. It isn’t just about bringing a word or scripture on a Sunday morning, but about caring for the various parts of the body day in day out. That is why God has connected us – to look after each other and reach out to the world as one body. We need to make sure we are ministering to one another in a biblical, holistic manner so that we can truly be the body of Christ.