We started a new series yesterday at GCC called, “Community.” The big idea of part 1 was that a God-community is diverse by design! Below are some of the main points from the message that I hope will be encouraging to you. Feel free to use however you may like. Also, for the audio or video of the message from yesterday, click here.
We hear, and use the word, “Community” a lot in church circles- Grace Community Church, Community Groups, community outreach, authentic or genuine community, etc. Biblically, a God-community is “people, uniquely called and equipped by God to come together to form an intricately connected and cooperative body that both develops and demonstrates Jesus’ mission!” And, it is diverse by design which is what makes the church, the body of Christ, so dynamic!
1 Corinthians 12:1:27 Especially note verses 4-6 and 27-31.
Diversity of Spiritual Gifts v.4. Different gifts, same Spirit! In a God-community, different people have different gifts and God has designed it this way so that we are dependent on God and on each other. 1 Cor. 12:7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” Your “gift/s” isn’t for you, it’s for others- the diverse nature of spiritual gifts allows us to meet diverse needs. 1 Cor. 12:31 “So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.” Paul’s conclusion is that we all don’t need to be or do the same thing of have the same gifts; rather we need to seek the gift/s that God wants us to have that will help others.
Diversity of Service v.5. Different ministries, but we serve the same Lord! In a God-community everyone has a very unique and necessary/significant contribution (Greek: diakonia) to make. “Ministry” is each person’s contribution to the greater cause of the community. Ministry is NOT the cause- it is a contribution; it is service to others, it is how we serve the Lord, it is each person’s unique contribution. Giving, friendliness, acceptance, forgiveness, grace, love, etc. are all contributions we all should be making.
Diversity of Systems v.6. Different ways/methods, same God! In a God-community, there is one mission, one message, but multiple methods of distributing (Greek: diairesis) the message and fulfilling the mission! The key is to use the ways/methods that “God is working in!” This is true in the context of every God-community. The key is- the message never changes, but the methods must! Remember: Today’s methods will be yesterday’s methods tomorrow! The same God who worked in typewriter communication, now works in twitter communication! Further, it you want to know how and to whom God wants you to communicate the message to, simply note the types of people, etc. that God has already assembled in your church!
Diversity of Strengths vv.12-27. Different parts, one body! 1 Cor. 12:12 “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” To have a true God-community, every part is must be present. 1 Cor. 12:18 “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.” God has determined all the necessary parts for a God-community. 1 Cor. 12:22 “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” No part is insignificant; every part is a strength. 1 Cor. 12:27 “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you are a part of it.” There is nothing more dynamic or powerful than the church when it is functioning at full-strength!
If the church is a God-community then it is diverse by design; different gifts, different contributions, different methods, different parts, harmoniously working together to fulfill the greater cause of Christ!