“If Everyone In The Church Were Just More Like Me …”

“If they were all one member, where would the body be?” (I Corinthians 12:19)

The Apostle Paul makes a great point in this verse, as he addresses church members who wanted others in the church to function like them in their gifting and servcie. Our natural inclination, like some in the Corinthian church, can be to want everyone in the church to be like us, with our particular outlook, temperament, and gifts. But if that were so, what a drab and monolithic church it would be!

What if everyone in your church had the same gift of teaching that you do, and no other gifts? Acts of mercy and love would be rare, and the church would be cold and unloving. Or what if everyone had the gift of mercy, but there were no prophets or teachers, who insisted on balancing love and mercy with the truth of the word of God? The church would fall into heresy.

The fact is, this is exactly what DOES happen in many churches: people of like gifts tend to congregate together, and others migrate to other like churches where they are more comfortable, with “people like them.” And as a result, many churches are missing the rich diversity of gifts that God designed for them to have.

Sadly, there are to be found all over Christendom, “eye” churches, “ear” churches, and “nose” churches — very uniform, but lack the diversity of body members that God planned as necessary for an effective body. If everyone in your church looks and sounds just like you, it may not be the good thing you think it is! It could actually be your church’s greatest weakness. God designed His church to be diverse: “If they were all one member, where would the body be?”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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