The Church does not exist without Christ, for Christ is the Cornerstone and we are living stones being built together in Him (1 Peter 2, Ephesians 2). Yet somehow, we as believers miss that oneness of the Church as a whole. Christ never meant for us to function individually, for nothing in the Word is individual. Does Christ care for individuals? Absolutely! Does God save us as individuals? Yes! Individually, is abiding and obedience important? That shouldn’t even be a question, but yes! Do we each have specific skills, talents, and personalities? Of course! We were designed by God!
But let’s not miss this: the Church is made up of individuals, and together we are one body – all of the Church around the world. Christ is the Head and He gives gifts of grace to each part of the body for the building up of the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4).
Jesus does this for the ministry as a whole. We are chosen for His purposes, to accomplish His work of redemption. He equips us together as individual parts to work together as a body of believers for His ultimate glory. Oftentimes the Church views only the work they are doing within their community of believers without seeing that every gathering of believers is a part of the Church as one body. Or worse, our focus can become so engulfed in what we individually do or don’t do for the Kingdom that we completely miss out on the sovereignty of our Creator and the fact that He’s been at work for thousands of years. We can’t mess that all up.
A body cannot function without the head (obviously), but we also won’t be as useful if a leg is missing, or a vital organ is missing or even a finger. We were never meant to do the work alone, claim the work as our own, or be so individualized that we make the work of Christ centered on us as individuals. The Church belongs to Christ, and Jesus Christ died so His bride could be made alive with Him, AND so that all the nations, tribes, languages, and peoples would too come to know Him.
The Church MUST work together, in love and humility. Jesus never meant for anything to be individual. He uses individuals to accomplish His purpose, but it’s never been about us as individuals. Who is it all about? Who has it always been about? Jesus Christ!
International Commission equips and enables believers worldwide to conduct church-based evangelism projects to reach unbelievers and make disciples. You can find free resources to learn more about sharing Jesus with people in your own backyard and around the world at internationalcommission.org/training.
This article is submitted by Brooke Stewart of International Commission. International Commission is a Missio Nexus member. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.