Connection. Sometimes it’s the difference between failing or hanging tough to fight another day. In the first part of Navy SEAL training, the guys have timed runs. If a trainee doesn’t consistently hit the required time, he’s dropped from the program. If a guy performs well overall, but struggles to hit his times, his fellow trainees tie him to a faster runner to help him pass. Make no mistake, they’re all tired, but they trade off as one man’s strength gets another through to the next round.
We see these ideas of teamwork and mutual support in the New Testament. Paul consistently uses the word picture of a body to represent the local church, “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” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
As the body of Christ, we find connection through the Holy Spirit. We do not exist simply as individuals, parts of a dismantled mannequin to be removed or replaced as needed. Instead, we’re to be like my friend Will, who recently broke his arm. His broken limb has been casted and rests in a sling that nestles it close to his body for protection. For the next six weeks, his body will support that arm as it rests and heals. Likewise, the Church functions as a whole body that supports weak or broken parts until they heal and can fully function in their designated roles.
So, how do we stay connected?
Church attendance: Show up. Forget watching the service online. Shake hands. Build relationships.
Small groups: Small groups help down-size a large church. They help form community and can serve as a spiritual family.
Service: Finding your niche will also help you connect to your local body of believers. Specific giftings and heart for a particular area of ministry will link you with like-minded folk.
Do you need support? Healing? Rest? Sling yourself to the body of Christ. You’re not an artificial limb to be replaced by a spare part. You are integral to the function of the body and the body is integral to your function as an individual. Stay connected.
Workout of the Week: The Body of Christ
Memory Verse: “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.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Do It: Connect.