This article is the second part of a series and comes out of my experience as a therapist working for Seattle Christian Counseling. Read Part 1 here.Many of the people I see come because they either don’t belong to a church or don’t attend church regularly. There are many ways I could go with this article, but my focus is going to be on why it’s important for you to find a church to attend and attend regularly. The church needs you. The premise for this article will be 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. In this section, the Apostle Paul discusses the body of the church of Christ and the many parts we, as Christians, make up within.
Before Paul begins this specific section, the chapter starts with a discussion on spiritual gifts. God gave each of us gifts that are unique to us. We are to use these gifts for the same purpose (to glorify God, grow in our sanctification, and share about Jesus), but we do this in a variety of ways according to our specific gifts. It is the Holy Spirit within us who empowers us to use our gifts in a godly way. Our God is a very creative God and loves variety, complexity, and simplicity, and He made us to love those things, too!
The discussion of spiritual gifts is important for the purpose of this article because you are needed in the church. You have gifts, talents, knowledge, and experiences that are unique. There is no one else like you, and you are needed in a church body. You are a piece of the puzzle. Have you ever put together a puzzle and couldn’t find one or two pieces? You are needed, and you need the church. Just as the puzzle misses the lost piece, the lost piece misses the puzzle.
Now let’s focus on how Paul describes this in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Paul uses the analogy of a body because a church is a living, breathing organism. It changes and grows and matures. It’s not an organization. Many of my clients have gone to churches who have become an organization and completely moved away from the true purpose of a church. These churches run efficiently and don’t really require a body. As a result, we become consumers in our church instead of a necessary part of the body.
God wants us to be involved, to know the people we sit next to on Sundays, and for them to know us. “For the body does not consist of one member, but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ would that make it any less a part of the body?” (1 Cor. 12:14-15)
David Muzak explains, “here, Paul puts the question in the mouth of the one who feels excluded from the body. It is as if some of the Corinthian Christians were saying, ‘I don’t have this certain spiritual gift. I guess I’m not part of the body of Jesus Christ.’ After all, hands and eyes seem more important and more ‘glamorous’ than feet and ears. So Paul wants these Christians who feel excluded to see that they are indeed members of the body, and to realize that their sense that they are not, is just as foolish as the foot or the ear who feel excluded.”
Every intricate part of the church body is needed and no one is more important than the other. I have found unexpectedly someone sitting next to me in a Sunday service is an ear just like me! (I think I am an ear with my profession being therapy. I think my husband might say I’m a mouth!)
As stated before, we all are given our own spiritual gifts. That means if you are an ear, a person who listens to others, who might be introverted and may not be talkative, you are needed! We can’t have every person be a mouth! Each part needs the other. We all need each body part to function. No one body part is more important than the others.
Although our focus has been 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, God stresses the importance of how much you are needed in the church in other areas of Scripture. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not have the same function, so we, through many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
God is such an amazing and diverse God! He made you to fit with the rest of the brothers and sisters in Christ. The counselors at Seattle Christian Counseling are available to help you develop your gifts and help you use them in the church body. You are loved and needed!
ReferencesGuzik, D. (2001). Study Guide for 1 Corinthians 12. Blue Letter Bible.
NIV Women of Faith Study Bible (2001). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
“Church,” courtesy of Kathy Hillacre, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Puzzle pieces,” courtesy of Hans Peter Gauster, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Maria & Eleanor’s Hands,” courtesy of Steve Hodgson, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0)