Walking the District grounds one cool December morning, I was joined by 3 groups of geese. All total there were nearly 50 who were wandering along with me. Of course, they were not all that happy that I had joined them and told me so as I passed by. Despite their protest, I was content to enjoy their company while we walked.
It was interesting that as I entered into the vicinity of where they were, one of them sounded the alarm that I was in the area and soon others were joining in. In fact, it spread from group to group, making sure that they all knew that I was around. While some might call it noisy, I considered it a privilege to see God’s handiwork on full display.
When I came inside to write my article, I thought about the analogy that was presented in those geese (because as preachers we can make an analogy or illustration out of anything in life). These geese reminded me that God not only created us individually but also to be dependent upon one another!
Geese have incredible navigational skills as they migrate and I have always been amazed at God’s creative power to put within their nature, the ability to travel great distances, depending on the weather. At the same time, they are dependent upon one another to not only journey together, but to warn of any dangers they may encounter along the way.
As believers, we are dependent upon one another and on each other’s callings and gifts.
Paul jumps into the deep end when he instructs the Corinthian Church on their placement within the Kingdom and the Church. No doubt, the church was experiencing what many in our local congregations across the nation face…rugged American individualism.
Ok. They were not American, but the spirit of being independent is a part of our nature and can translate into our view of the Christian life. After all, we often elevate those who can go to the wilds of Alaska, live off the grid, hunt and eat wild animals, grow their own food, all while being filmed by a Discovery film crew.
Christ is sufficient for all of our needs and for the development of our Christian walk, yet Paul reminds us that we need one another. Not only to grow individually but also corporately.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (ESV)
This reminder can also translate beyond the individual congregation that you serve in, to the district, to our fellowship, and to the worldwide church. We Need One Another! It isn’t too far-fetched to say that our effectiveness as “The Body of Christ” is dependent upon our love for one another and our desire to see each church, pastor, leader, board member, volunteer, and congregant fulfilling their purpose in the Kingdom! When we love one another as Christ loves the church, there is no room for disdain, rivalry or competition, envy, inferiority or superiority, only love.
That love that God has placed in our hearts is graphically displayed through action and not just our words. Paul wanted the church to recognize that the gifting’s in the church were not for consumption, but for giving so that others would be blessed. In other words, it’s not about what others do for us, but rather what we do for them. We fulfill what God desires for His church when it is our consuming desire to see others succeed!
This coming year, I am believing for a unified effort to see that each church succeeds in fulfilling its purpose to be healthy and effective in their respective mission field. The Oklahoma District is fully equipped to serve the Lord, just as every church and believer is equipped. But like the local church, we depend on each one recognizing and honoring the gift that God has given and using it to lift one another!
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