For We Are
The word “individual” is not as solitary as it might seem. The word can actually point a deep relationship between different parts and entities. The Oxford Dictionary defines the noun individual as: “A single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family.” This definition demonstrates that, as human beings, we ought to exist in an environment that does not only have one of us. We are a system, and even if we don’t get to meet everyone on the planet, we are connected.
Simply put - we are each dots. By itself a dot is just a dot. However, when we get a pencil and start to trace the lines and curves, we come out with something meaningful, beautiful, and something beyond just individual points on a page. True, dots by themselves are empty and incomplete. But as Christians, we are able to connect the dots with each other and with God as well.
Our ministry should indicate a partnership and respectful relationship.
The importance of fellowship and ministry with each other is an important part of this process. When we are in relationship with others it should not be only just for or to other people but with. Our ministry should indicate a partnership and respectful relationship. This means that we recognize the importance of each dot, the importance of each part, regardless of how small or insignificant it might seem to be.
The apostle Paul uses the metaphor of a body to describe how individuals should work in ministry with each other:
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-28 New International Version (NIV))
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
I used to ask myself why going to church was important when one could simply read the Bible on their own, sing and pray on their own. The answer lies in the context of this passage: as an individual, you and I are just one part of a body and we can’t really achieve much by ourselves. We need each other. Going to church is not just for support and fellowship with others, but also our way as humans to show our love and respect for God. It consolidates our relationship with God, and builds our spiritual growth by deepening our relationships with those surrounding us.
Question: How can you work to be sure you are performing a part in the body of Christ?