Summary: Having a body that functions effectively is an indication that you are healthy, you have a healthy body. Having a team that functions the way God has designed the body of Christ is an indication of a healthy team.
In scripture God often uses natural things to help us understand spiritual things. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 to help us better understand how God wants the church to operate, He likens the body of Christ; the church to the human body. Understanding the makeup or the composition of the human body, can help us understand some spiritual principles of teamwork.
Having a body that functions effectively is an indication that you are healthy, you have a healthy body. Having a team that functions the way God has designed the body of Christ is an indication of a healthy team, a team that will be effective. Having a team that functions in a way different from how God has designed the body of Christ is clearly an indication that the team is an unhealthy team, the team won’t be effective.
Today we want to look at 3 fundamental facts about the human body that can help us better work together as a team.
1. Every part of the human body is important, every member of the team is important
Look at yourself from head to toe, what is the smallest part of your body? Some may say my little finger or my little toe, some my eyelashes or the pupil of my eye. Now let me ask. Do you want to lose that part of your body? I know your answer would certainly be NO! Though it’s a small part of your body, it is still very important to you. Its size does not in any way reduce its importance. It’s a small part of your body quite alright but it isn’t just occupying space. As small as it is it is carrying out an important function. Your small eye lashes for instance help to protect your eyes from sand or insects entering into your eye. Apart from that your eyelashes add to your beauty. You would look odd without your eyelashes.
1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us that just as the many parts of the human body both the small parts and the big parts make up the whole body, so it is with the church, with a team. We are all part of the church, part of the team that God has carefully selected for the work here. If any part of your body is missing whether a small part or a big part, your body isn’t complete. If any one of us is missing whether old or young, whether mature believer, stable growing believer or baby in the Lord, the team isn’t complete. Just as every part of the human body is very important irrespective of the size of that part of the body, so also every member of the team is important irrespective of what the person contributes, the person’s level of commitment, spiritual level or social status.
But often times when you belong to a team, you find that there are some members of the team who aren’t considered as really important to the team. Let me give an example, you are the head of a unit or department like choir, ushering, fundraising or a minister in church. You are running late for church and you call to find out who is around and they tell you Bro. A is around. Your response which you may voice out or not voice out, depending on the unit you belong to, goes like this – is that the usher that will direct people, someone that can’t stand for more than 5 minutes, or is that the chorister that will lead praise someone that knows only two old songs that people don’t even sing these days, or is that who will help us raise funds someone that stammers when he talks, or is that the minister that will take the service, someone that knows only John 3:16.
Let’s be sincere with ourselves, we are all guilty of this. We consider certain people on our team not that important. It could be because of the person’s spiritual level maybe the person doesn’t know much of the Word, it could be because of the person’s age we consider the person too old or too young for certain responsibilities, it could be because the person lacks certain technical skills for example the person isn’t good with figures, or with managing time or in introducing songs. Or the person even has a physical handicap like a broken leg.
Why does God in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 lay emphasis on the fact that we should treat everyone as important just as every part of the human body is important? Firstly, when people are valued in spite of their weaknesses and shortcomings, you create an atmosphere for people to grow and improve. You bring out the best in them. Secondly, if you look and think deeply, you will discover that everyone on the team actually contributes something significant. For example, the choir member who may not be good in introducing songs or who for now knows only two old songs maybe the only one in the choir that remembers to call people on their birthday. The minister who knows only John 3:16 maybe the only minister who never misses anyone’s function whether birthday, house dedication, naming ceremony or baby dedication. Even if the event is outside town that minister would be there. So tell me, aren’t these people important, aren’t they contributing something important to the team? Everyone is important, everyone on the team is useful and needed for one thing or the other (1 Corinthians 12:21-22).