Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly.
~Ephesians 4:16 NLT
Sixteen was a special number, but not because I had a sweet sixteen party.
When I performed the calculation, I had belonged to sixteen churches. Like any other child who doesn’t have a choice about where they attend church, as a preacher’s kid, I didn’t either. And since my dad didn’t stay at any one place long, I had been in five churches by the time I reached sixteen. Then I went into the ministry and repeated the pattern, although staying a little longer than good ole Dad.
I’ve seen my share of oddities as I’ve made the church rounds, whether as pastor, staff member, or member. One church melted when ladies began wearing pantsuits. Another had to wait for the monthly business meeting so they could vote to purchase the necessary parts to repair a toilet. Still another lost a few members when they decided to use the family life center for something other than meals. One had policies to follow if a person of another race or culture showed up. One was even bold enough to close down the sanctuary and move to the family life center to accommodate the growth numbers they expected.
While different from each other, all these churches shared a commonality: they fit together perfectly. Those on the outside may not have understood some of their beliefs or practices, but those on the inside knew their whys intimately.
Each of the churches was a body unto itself. But they also formed a body collectively—even though they encompassed different denominations, beliefs, and worship styles. Their commonalities included belief in Jesus Christ and members using their gifts.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
~1 Peter 4:10 NLT
As the human body only functions perfectly when each part is operating normally, so does the church. It’s up to us to determine what part we are by examining the gift God has given us and then locating a church where we can fit our role into the existing ones. When we discover the perfect fit, our body part will enable that church to advance God’s Kingdom. But if we try to fit where we don’t belong, we’ll only experience frustration and create discord.
How are you using your gifts in the church where you attend? Are you a perfect fit there?
Father, help me discover the church where my gifts will fit perfectly.
Copyright 2023: Fitted Together Perfectly: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved
(photo courtesy of pixabay and leoleobobeo)