• Kelly Lesser

Body life

“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-18

I still remember what my junior high basketball coach told my team every game right before we took the court – “Win or lose, we do it together.” It doesn’t take long to realize that if all the members of a team aren’t working together, they will not be very successful. In fact, when a single player tries to take matters into their own hands, often it can highlight how they are not playing as a team. Many sports are designed in such a way that, unless each player does their part, the team will not be able to win on a consistent basis.


The same can be said for other areas of life where a group of people must work together to achieve a goal. Whether it’s a project in the workplace or life in the home, working together with others is a significant part of our lives.


In his letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul uses the imagery of a body to highlight the importance of our roles within the church. While each part of the body does its own unique thing, when they work together it brings the body to life.

In his letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul uses the imagery of a body to highlight the importance of our roles within the church. While each part of the body does its own unique thing, when they work together it brings the body to life.

I am often struck by how intricate the human body is. Just think of everything that needs to work together to get up from your chair while you are watching the game, go over to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee. Your brain, eyes, muscles and many other systems, all working together to get that act accomplished. Now we often do that without hardly thinking about it – but in reality – it is a very complex series of things which have to work together in a very specific way to get that to happen. And if one part of the body doesn’t do what it is supposed to do it becomes more difficult, if not impossible.

And this is the image that Paul wants his readers to be thinking about. The body doesn’t work as well, if at all, if the parts are not doing what they can or should. And just as true, in the church, if we try to make a part of the body do what they were not designed to do or if we ignore a part altogether, we tend not to be successful in even the simplest actions.



Paul tells us that the church is full of people who have been gifted by the Holy Spirit in different ways so that we are each able to contribute to the life and mission of the church. We work together as a team to accomplish that which Jesus has called us to do. This is how we are designed to function as the body of Christ.


When you look at your local congregation, take note of how each person plays a role. We need leaders and mentors who will train us and send us out to fulfill our mission as individual followers of Christ and our corporate mission as a church. We need people who will work on things when no one is around so that when people are around things will run smoothly. We need people who will support us in many different ways, pray for us and encourage us when we are out on that mission. And we need people who will prepare us all to share the love of Jesus and the Good News of the Gospel in our homes and in our workplace.


And while each individual brings gifts to the local body, by extension, each local body brings gifts to the greater body. As a family of EMMC churches, we also need the gifts that each local church and the people within them brings. We need people and churches who will support our mission work in finances and in prayer. We need those who will offer support to churches who are looking for leadership training. We need people and churches who will train and raise up others who will lead our churches and who will head out into the world on mission for Christ.


We have been designed to work together as the body of Christ, each of us gifted in unique ways. As we seek to fulfill the mission to which we have been called by God, let us consider, not only how we might contribute to that mission but also how we might encourage and equip others to do the same.



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This article was originally published in The Recorder Volume 59 No 5