Acting as the Body of Christ?

Acting as the Body of Christ?

What does it mean to act as “the Body of Christ?” What does it mean to you? I have an idea of what it means, but does that idea line up with the Word of God? The Word of God, you know, the B-I-B-L-E; yeah that’s the book for me. Ok, ok, ok. I’m going to give you a story from the gospels and then let you know how this story became alive to me and how this scripture represents a way the Body of Christ can act.

John 21
 1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

I wish I could demonstrate to you how I think Peter said: “I’m goin’ fishin.” I imagine when he said his shoulders were dipping and his bottom lip sticking out. Anyway the following is a story from when I was a youth pastor and how the Holy Spirit revealed this scripture to me.

So, one wonderful night back in 2005 nearly a third of our youth congregation raised their hands to receive salvation. I felt like I had just given the most convincing salvation message ever and the group responded. A THIRD OF THE CONGERGATION’S hands went up.  Now our group was 21 that night and 7 kids responded but still, STILL! I was so proud. I felt like God had used me in a mighty way and I was the world’s best preacher… until the Holy Spirit started talking to me. Here’s the deal. The night started out pretty normal until 2 family vehicles pulled up and out poured 7 visitors and 2 regulars. When I saw the visitors my original message went out the door and that night I laid down the Roman Road (salvation message). All 7 of the visitors raised their hands when I gave the invitation. When the night was finished and all had gone home and it was just me cleaning the church I started to brag to God about that night. That’s when the H.S. interrupted me mid-brag and reminded me of the story of the disciples’ fishing trip. The H.S. asked me one simple question that brought me to a humble surrender. The question was “how do you suppose all those fish got to the other side of the boat.” Well, how do YOU suppose the fish got there? My guess is Jesus somehow ushered them to the right place at the right time. Whether he physically moved them there or gave a simple command, he got them in the right place to be caught. Now how do you suppose those 7 visitors made it to church that night? They made in two family vehicles that belonged to one precious family that attended our church. Their two girls invited a bunch of classmates to our youth service that night. Not only did the family bring them but they fed them too. Back to the Gospel story:  You know what I don’t see in the story of the disciples’ fishing? I don’t see Peter and the boys bragging about what great fisherman they were. What I do see is they recognized the reason why they caught so many fish. That night I too had to recognize (with the help of the H.S.) why so many answered the salvation message. It was not because of my great preaching/fishing skills but because God used a precious, precious church family who took time out of their very busy day and ushered a bunch of smelly/hungry teenagers to our side of the church.

By sharing this story I don’t want you to think that I’m bashing the pulpit ministry. I’m not. I respect and believe in the vitality of the 5 fold ministry heads found in Eph 4:11. I believe those ministers are in place “to equip His people for works of service [ministry], so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Eph 4:12)  I can tell you that as a minister it is so cool to be used by God to bring the salvation message. It’s an awesome high. But there is also a serious danger that comes with the pulpit ministry or with any high profile position(boss, supervisor, coach, etc.).  That danger is Pride. You start to think it’s you that is the magnet and not the One that draws all men (and women)* to Him. I believe a great way to battle Pride is the following statement: Before you start thinking it’s about you, you better stop and review. That night in ’05 the H.S. made me stop and review. I’m glad He did. Now one of the greatest joys I get doesn’t come from just preaching salvation but rather ushering people into the right place at the right time. I get a great joy from being part of the Body of Christ. Whether it's hearing that the offering we gave was just right in time or if its seeing someone at church that we invited, the joy is immense. Take some time to read through all of Ephesians chapter 4. It gives some good instruction on how to act as the Body of Christ. 1st Corinthians 12 also gives some good instruction. But also take some time to act as the Body of Christ by doing your part to usher someone to the other side of the boat. Invite someone to your church. Maybe even feed them and give them a ride.

1st Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Stay Blessed Y’all; It’s Your Choice!!

 * John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”