The body of Christ
As part of our response to the report Setting God’s people free, Café Church on 8th April 2018 looked at 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 and considered what it meant to be the body of Christ.
Over tea, toast and marmalade this is what we came up with:
- Every part has significance. Just as an arm is as important as a leg, no one role is more or less important than another. Welcoming people who hire the hall is as critical as preaching a good sermon.
- If just one bit doesn’t work like it was intended then the whole doesn’t function like it should. Even if something small like your little toe or little finger were injured it would affect your whole balance or the strength of your grip. So everyone needs to realise there is a part for them to play, something that they could be doing, rather than sitting back and letting others get on with it.
- But equally those that are ‘doing everything’ need to give space and opportunities for others to exercise what they’re good at too.
- We’re in the church building for only a very few hours per week. But there are 24 hours a day and seven days a week when we are the body of Christ – when we are church rather than in church.
- So what does that mean in practice? We might find it relatively easy (and overwhelmingly tempting) to write a job description for the Vicar… But what about writing one for members of the congregation? And one which covered their role within the body of Christ for all the week, not just Sunday?
- How should we then equip and support these people to enable them to do that effectively?
We were played out by ‘If we are the body’ from Casting Crowns, the chorus of which is below:
But if we are the body
Why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing?
Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way
Reminder: Setting God’s people free
‘The report identifies the need for two shifts in culture and practice that we see as critical to the flourishing of the Church and the evangelisation of the nation.
1. Until, together, ordained and lay, we form and equip lay people to follow Jesus confidently in every sphere of life in ways that demonstrate the Gospel we will never set God’s people free to evangelise the nation.
2. Until laity and clergy are convinced, based on their baptismal mutuality, that they are equal in worth and status, complementary in gifting and vocation, mutually accountable in discipleship, and equal partners in mission, we will never form Christian communities that can evangelise the nation.‘
See the full report by following this link: Setting God’s People Free
Cafe Church at St John & St Mark will next be 17th June, then 23rd September and 9th December. We will continue to look at how to make the recommendations of this report a reality. So please come along if you want to engage on this incredibly important subject.