The bible refers to the church as the Body of Christ several times in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 12 gives a great picture of the body of Christ and how the church functions as a body. The chapter talks about how the just like a body has many parts that work together, the Body of Christ has different parts with different purposes, different gifts and skills, but we are all still one body. Verses 12-14 say “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”
When we understand that we are part of a larger body the question then arise; which part are you? Churches need to spend time understanding the role that they have in the body of Christ so that they know what their purpose is. There are lots of conversations in the Body of Christ where we talk about all of the different parts of the body being valuable, when not every individual church knows what part they are. When a church discovers what part of the body they function as, they will be filled with purpose and vision as well as an appreciation for the other parts of the body.
Do you know which part of the body your church is? If not, here are some questions that you can ask yourself, your church, and God to discover what part of the body your church is called to function as.
Who Does God Say You Are?
Sometimes we can get caught up wanting to be parts of the body that we are not called to be. This can happen personally as well as a whole church. Not everyone is called to be a worship leader or an itinerate speaker and if everyone was the Bidy of Christ would not be able to function. What does God say about you? Ask him what role you play in the body.
What Are You Passionate About?
Your church is filled with people who all are passionate about something. Ask yourself and your church leadership team what passions God has places in their heart. There's a good chance you will discover your purpose through the passions God has put in your heart.
What Are You Good At?
1st Corinthians 12 actually starts off talking about spiritual gifts before it talks about the body. This is on purpose. Your spiritual gifts will often give you an idea what part of the body you are created to be. Too often in the Church, people gather connect around a certain spiritual gift and separate themselves from the rest of the body. Your spiritual gifting is should never separate you from the body of Christ.
What Is Your Vision?
Every church should have a vision that they gather around. Your vision statement should inspire and unify your church around your specific purpose. It should also create unity on a larger level with churches in your city, region, and beyond.
Is Your Vision Creating Unity In The Body?
Verse 19-20 says “If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” A church’s vision should be a representation of the role they play in the body of Christ. Your vision should create unity with body, not separation. As the body, we need the other body parts and we need to work together to be a healthy body.
Once you know what part of the body your church plays, the goal becomes to inspire people with your vision. A great way to communicate your vision is on your church website. Many churches have websites that become a hub of information and inspiration for their member and interested visitors. Your church website is a great place to tell people what part of the body your church is.