What makes a church? Part 2

by Sep 12, 2008

Here’s another word-picture that describes the church:

The church is a body.

Maybe you’ve already heard plenty of sermons about the body of Christ. You know how each one of us is a vital member of the body, whether we happen to be a beautiful brown eye or an ugly cracked foot (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). The way we usually intepret this is to apply it to the visible body of Christ in the local church, which means we assign each body part to a ministry role. The eye is obviously the senior pastor, and the foot is the poor woman who gets stuck filling every… single… communion… cup. Or maybe the guy who gets roped into supervising a junior high all-nighter.

But the body isn’t just the church assembled. It’s the church at all times. It’s individuals who display the power of God and the love of Christ in their own foot-like or eye-like way, wherever they happen to be. The body doesn’t magically reconstitute and reanimate every Sunday, only to be dissolved for the next six days.

The church body is always the body. Which means that everything we do – everything – affects the other members of the body in some way. Even the things we do when no one else is watching. Things that no one else will ever know.

They might not know exactly what’s happening, but they know something’s up. That’s what makes the body the body.