We do not have it all together, but together we have it all! This is true for individuals as well as churches. As an individual Christian, I don’t have everything I need to be everything that God is making me to be. I don’t have everything, in myself, that I need to face life’s challenges. But in the Church, I do.
Christianity is not a solo venture. It is true that we are called into the Kingdom of God as individuals. I must face my need for repentance and forgiveness alone. But that begins a journey that God has designed to be traveled with others. There are many pictures of the Church in the Bible. But there is one that rises above all of them, and that is the Church as the “Body of Christ.” “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5). It is inconceivable, and frankly hilarious, to think of my elbow trying to drive a car down the road. But when the rest of my body joins in then it is possible. Of course, if I haven’t had my coffee that morning it may be a little dangerous.
So, why do we Christians insist on trying to live the Christian life all by ourselves? It is like allowing your elbow to drive you to work. How do we do that? We regularly put other groups and events in front of being with our Church family on Sundays and throughout the week. We think that taking time out of our busy schedules for bible study or fellowship with fellow believers is not only a waste of our time but really not necessary. And worst of all, we insist on facing our fears and disappointments in life alone. I have noticed that at the most crucial time for a believer to be with other believers in life, they usually withdraw from the Church.
Not only is our ability to navigate struggles hindered by this withdrawal, but our ability to do the work of the Kingdom of God is impossible! The work of ministry is not for a few, but for all in the Church. Again, God has designed it this way. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:11-12). So much of the work of ministry is being hamstrung by believers who see the Church primarily as being there to minister to them, instead of, being there to provide them a place to use their God given ministry skills and gifts.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Yes, we are saved as individuals, but we are also saved into the Body of Christ. It is how God had determined we should grow in Christ. It is how we find His power and grace expressed in a way that can truly touch our situations in life. Because, we do not have it all together, but together we have it all!