Last month the world watched as the greatest athletes of our time assembled in Tokyo to compete and display their incredible athleticism and unique abilities. It is more than entertaining; it’s awe-inspiring. As remarkable as the individuals themselves may be, I always find myself drawn most to the team sports. The goal of the athletes competing in team sports is a little different than those in the individual sports. In a team sport, all parts of the team need to function in harmony as individuals partner with one another so well that they can almost begin to function as one. This is most awe-inspiring part of the Olympics for me. In faith life, I similarly spectate how disciples of Jesus live out their faith on a daily basis. I am amazed by the incredible dedication and faithfulness that individuals demonstrate in living out their personal callings and I treasure these examples of the Holy Spirit active in the lives of God’s people! And yet what I find myself most drawn to are the examples of Christians in community that unite together around common goals and work in harmony to function as one. Paul referred to the church as the body of Christ, most notably in the 12th chapter of both Romans and 1 Corinthians. In Romans 12:4-5 we read “Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ…” In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes how each part of the body has a special and necessary function as one part of a bigger whole. Each part is special, and each part is important. In verse 18, Paul concludes “As it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted.” Friends, we can be fantastic in living out our individual callings. We can share faith, do good works, and use our God-given talents for a greater Kingdom purpose. Don’t hear me wrong… we should do all these things. But our highest calling in doing them is not the solo feat. Rather I believe God is calling us to participate as a part of a team, working together in harmony as one body in Christ towards common goals. That is the best of Church. By
working together, we can do abundantly more than as individuals. To put it another way, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. So how is God calling you to use your unique calling, gifts, interests, and abilities to join in the greater mission activity of the body of Christ? Like a championship team with each member performing their individual function at the highest possible level, the Church needs each member of the body to perform its function and work together for the common goal. So what does it look like for you to share in the mission of Jesus as a part of the Church, the body of Christ? There are no podiums for us to stand on to receive medals, adulation, or glory. When the victory is won, all glory goes to the Father. Afterall, everything that we do is a gift of God: the work of the Holy Spirit in us and through us.
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for LCMC Texas District and Program Director of Harvest Workers, an online ministry training program (learn more at www.harvestworkers.net). Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.