Summary: In this sermon you will see the benefits of involvement in a church family
In I Corinthians 12 Paul compares the church to a body. I want to use the body as a teaching point to teach the benefits of a church family.
1. My church family provides a team to work with. A Christian is not a lone ranger. We need a team to support us. A team is a unit working together. Paul compares the church to a body. Some members are arms. Some members are legs. Some members are hearts. My church family provides a unit that I can work with to make me a stronger person.
I saw an acrostic this week that illustrates this point.
Illustration: In what the news called "The Miracle at Quecreek," nine miners trapped for three days 240 feet underground in a water-filled mine shaft "decided early on they were either going to live or die as a group." The 55 degree (Fahrenheit) water threatened to kill them slowly by hypothermia, so according to one news report "When one would get cold, the other eight would huddle around the person and warm that person, and when another person got cold, the favor was returned." "Everybody had strong moments," miner Harry B. Mayhugh told reporters after being released from Somerset Hospital in Somerset. "But any certain time maybe one guy got down, and then the rest pulled together. And then that guy would get back up, and maybe someone else would feel a little weaker, but it was a team effort. That’s the only way it could have been." They faced incredibly hostile conditions together—and they all came out alive together. What a picture of the body of Christ. (SOURCE: Bill White, Paramount, California; Citation: adapted from "Teamwork Helped Miners Survive Underground," CNN.com (7-28-02) from preachingtoday.com. Quoted in "Living The Call" by Joel Smith on www.sermoncentral.com.Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO)
A team requires dependability in its members. Paul compares the church to a body. What happens when some parts of the body do not function? Several years ago, in a church I was serving, a senior adult man had a serious surgery. After the surgery was completed, this man’s kidneys would not wake up. There were several days when his situation was critical. I believe you would agree, kidneys are vital to body function. That is true of the church. Every member must be dependable.
Illustration: I picked up a church newsletter some time ago that had an article about faithfulness and dependability. It asked the following questions.
• If your car starts one time out of three, do you consider it dependable?
• If the paper carrier skips the Monday and Thursday editions, would they be missed?
• If you fail to come to work two or three times a month, would your boss call you a dependable worker?
• If your refrigerator quits for a day now and then, do you excuse it and say, “But it works most of the time?”
• If your water heater greets you with cold water one or two mornings a week, would you be understanding?
• If you miss a couple of mortgage payments in a year’s time, would your banker say, “Oh, well, ten out of twelve isn’t bad?”
We expect faithfulness and dependability. That should also be true in the church. Many people want to attend church without any demands. The Bible teaches that we have gifts, abilities, and passions that other people need from us.
2. My church family gives me a place to belong. In our vision we refer to a place for family. That refers to a father, mother, and children; however, it is deeper than that. We want to give people a place to belong, a sense of roots! When you have that kind of environment it meets two basic needs of mankind.
When you have a place to belong you have a place where you feel as if you are “important.” Notice verses 15-19. “If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?”
Illustration: There is a television commercial that speaks to this need. The setting for this commercial is a high school prom. The master of ceremonies announces that it is time to crown a prom queen. You can sense that everyone is excited about the announcement. The master of ceremonies announces the name of the winner. A young lady steps to the front. You are expecting a knock you dead gorgeous beauty queen to step forward. Instead, a young lady who, by appearances, has a physical problem steps to the front to be crowed prom queen. The message of the commercial is to promote human dignity. Everyone is a winner.