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A Fine-Tuned Machine

Updated: Jul 6

The Church is an organism, not an organization. To call the Church at organization is our worldly spin on what God intended for the church to be and how it is to do more than just exist, but flourish! Organism (def) - a whole with interdependent parts, likened to a living being. Organization (def) - an organized body of people with a particular purpose, especially a business, society, or association. It is very dangerous to put restrictions on the church and lessen the effect of the Holy Spirit on individuals' lives when trying to build a church. Paul wrote the following verses in Romans 12: 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. We are individuals who are connected and in that connection, there is a Holy Spirit bond in each of us. That is the only way we can actually be "one" is in Christ and in Him alone. When we come to this realization our attitude about our "part" in this organism called the church very quickly aligns with God's plan for His church.

To make the church an organization is just as much in error as called ministers thinking they are doing a "job." Job (def) - a paid position of regular employment: Who do we think we are anyway? We must never put human ways of doing things into something God sent His Son to die for on the cross. The ground level at the foot of the cross is an applicable term right here. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and shared a very awesome way to look at the church, and he did this in the midst of the Corinthian church going through turmoil because of poor doctrine and power struggles. The verses show us a true way of looking at church and you will see very clearly the point. 1 Corinthians 12: 12 For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The above scripture pretty much dispels the myth that big churches are cold and not very easy to develop friendships and relationships with other believers. You may not agree with me and that is ok because you can come up with your own conclusion from the verses above. Small churches that never grow many times, not every time, are not letting the verses above be the focus and do not turn loose the power of the fellowship of believers called the church. We can become a "just us" group of people who have been able to justify not using their gifts for God and letting Him magnify those gifts for His glory.

But in the explanation of the above verses Paul goes into detail to explain why he wrote what he wrote. 1 Corinthians 12: 14 For the body is not one part, but many.15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not, for this reason, any less a part of the body.16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less a part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?18 But now God has arranged the parts, each one of them in the body, just as He desired.19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?20 But now there are many parts, but one body.21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;23 and those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, on these we bestow the greater honor, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable,24 whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked,25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same care for one another.26 And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.

I had a 1969 Dodge Charger (loved that car) and the 440 cubic-inch engine needed to be very well taken of. I needed to put in the best gas and carefully keep it tuned or it would start to buck and flutter and it was embarrassing when that happened. When I had it tuned as it needed to be tuned it ran with great power and it was very intimidating. But when I neglected it, it did nothing impressive at all. Every cylinder needed to work with other ones to make the engine work in perfect running order because every cylinder and every spark plug was needed to make the whole thing run properly. A powerful engine with powerful results. A church is a lot like a car engine and every part is important to keeping it a fine-tuned machine. All of this takes time and equipping the saints to find their place in the engine. Churches are disoriented when we don't make the commitment to train and challenge all saints to get involved in the work of the church and the end result of that disorientation is chaos, gossip, petty jealousy, power struggles, and many other sinful actions that should not be any part of a "church."

All Christians are important in the ministry of the church and we are not to hold back the Lord working through all believers in the church and thus limit the effect on a lost and dying world. We are all called to be "the church." If we are not a part of the engine, then the engine will buck and flutter and not be the fine-tuned machine God meant for it to be. The story below shows the need for all parties to be doing their part in the ministry of the church. All people are important in the church and only in a "club" or an organization would someone's value be diminished. Read the story below and see the point.

The old gentleman had been hired many years earlier by a young town council to clear away the debris from the pools of water that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt from the fresh flow of water. By and by, the village became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear spring, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and the view from restaurants was picturesque.

Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semiannual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man's eye caught the salary figure being paid to the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the purse, "Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? For all we know he is doing us no good. He isn't necessary any longer!" By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man's services.

For several weeks nothing changed. By early autumn the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped off and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A couple of days later the water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks, and a foul odor was detected. The millwheels moved slower, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village. Embarrassed, the council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they hired back the old keeper of the spring . . . and within a few weeks, the river began to clear up.

Fanciful though it may be, the story carries with it a vivid, relevant analogy directly related to the times in which we live. What the keeper of the spring meant to the village, Christian servants mean to our world. The preserving, taste-giving bite of "salt" mixed with the illuminating, hope-giving ray of "light" may seem feeble and needless . . . but God help any society that attempts to exist without them! You see, the village without the keeper of the spring is a perfect representation of the world system without the salt and light of God's servants

God is calling all the church to be the church and get back on track to be the Fine-tuned machine that God has built to do the work He has called us to do. We are all part of each other, so let the organism grow and grow!!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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