Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To Whom Do You Belong?

In I Corinthians 1: 10-18, Paul seems to be venting some frustration. It has been reported to Paul that there are quarrels among the people--some who claim to belong to Paul...some who claim to belong to Apollos...some who claim to belong to Cephas...some who claim to belong to Christ.

The division of the people into separate groups is probably more than merely frustrating to Paul...it is also painful. It is painful for any leader of the church to see people become fragmented because of differences in opinions...differences in preferences...differences in desires.

I came to my church from a much larger church in a much more "religious" part of the country. I tried to transfer much of what I observed and learned from that larger setting to a smaller one--namely the idea that the church has to have certain programs or "services" in order to appeal to people. And my thinking was, if we don't have x, y or z, the people won't come.

What I have learned in my church is that success is not measured by the amount (or lack of) programs and services a church has, but by amount of faith in the people who do the very best that they can to serve God.

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power." It is faithfully proclaiming the gospel in whatever way possible that really matters. And it is in proclaiming the gospel that we are able to rise above our differences in opinions, preferences and desires to recognize once again that we all belong to One--Jesus the Christ.

Journey On...

1 comment:

mompriest said...

I came from large church to small church and probably had a similar idea...then learned that what is really important is how well we are community - how well do we live the gospel in our lives?