As we’re progressing through our Discipleship series, isn’t it helpful to see how the topics build on each other: that we are saved by grace, into a relationship with our Lord Jesus, who we know through his word, and we’re therefore a part of the church: God’s people gathered around his word.
As Christians, we belong to our Lord Jesus Christ (e.g. Romans 1:6). And, since we belong to him, we also belong to one another. The apostle Paul explains this using the image of the body of Christ, encouraging his readers to use the gifts God has given them to serve God and others:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
As we gather at church, we may have very different backgrounds, culture, language, occupations and interests—humanly speaking, we may not have much in common. But when we are Christian—when we are in Christ—that is the most fundamental thing we can have in common. We have each been saved by grace, we are each called to live in response to that, and we each have God dwelling in us by his Spirit.
So, what are practical ways in which we can express our belonging to each other, as we belong to Christ? That is, how might we love and encourage and serve other people, particularly on Sundays at church?
- Plan to be there!
- Read the sermon passage beforehand—it’ll prime us to better hear and engage with the Bible reading and sermon.
- Pray about where to sit: is there someone who’s new, or sitting on their own?
- Wear a name tag.
- Plan to stay after the gathering for morning tea/supper—who can we encourage?
We could call this the ‘Ministry of the Pew’: it’s a ministry that doesn’t require a roster, and that we can all be involved in! The same principles also apply in our small groups etc.
So, as we meet together on Sundays, and in our small groups midweek, let’s rejoice in the grace we have been shown in Christ, and express the fact that we belong to him and to each other.