Essential vs. Non-Essential

Who is essential to the church?  Who does the church need to be “The Church”?  Surely, the pastor is essential.  What is Saddleback’s church without Rick Warren?  Or Hillsong without Brian Houston? And the worship music is essential, right?  Look at Hillsong again with Joel Houston & hello?, Darlene Zschech!  Look at what great things Kristian Stanfill and others are doing with the Passion tour.  These are certainly essential to the greater church, right?  What about my local church?  Who’s essential there?  Once again, of course the pastors and worship leaders are essential.  And the Sunday School teachers – what’s church without that?  I was reading Jason Johnson’s blog about who is essential in regards to adoption and foster care.  He reminded me, “Unique gifts are given to unique individuals, not for their own good but for the good of the whole body 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 .  These roles are established not on the basis of rank, as if one person’s position was more important than another, but on the premise that when each member fulfills their responsibility the whole body will function better together for it.”  In this case he is saying that there are many ways to support the orphaned without actually bringing a child into your home.

But the same goes for the makings of my church.  Everyone is essential.  We aren’t, or rather shouldn’t be, ranked according to importance as we see it.  What am I getting at, you ask?  Disability.  Even those with disability are essential to the body of the church.  My son has disabilities and he has a job in our church.  Is he essential to that job?  Nope.  If he wasn’t doing it would it still get done?  Of course.  That job is something that just about any of us could do.  But what about his greater role in the church?  What is his role that is making the body of the church function better?  I can’t be completely sure of what God is using my boy for, but I can tell you what I’m learning from him…

Disability has made my son completely dependent on God’s provisions.  Food, shelter, clothing – he has no concerns for how those will be accomplished.  He is completely reliant on God’s provision.  Does he worry about them?  Not one bit.  Yet, he has all of those things and more.  Another thing I’m learning from him is unconditional love.  When he wants to talk with someone he does not look at how old they are, what they are wearing or what brand of clothing they have on, whether their hair is fixed flawlessly or if it’s even combed.  He accepts everyone as they are … without judgement.  He just wants to be with you, close to you, spend time with you.  He remembers to pray for others.  I can say to him we need to pray for somebody.  By the time we get to his bedtime prayers later that same night I will have forgotten.  Not him.  He will always remind me to pray for that person.  And he is welcoming.  He absolutely loves to welcome people into his home, show them around, share in what he has been blessed with.  He doesn’t care if his bed is made, if everything is in its place or what he looks like.  He just wants YOU.

I can’t wait for when we truly embrace that Christ is stronger in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). I think then we will see more fully the power of God in our churches.  Now I can’t say I know exactly what Christ meant when he said “those who are last will be first”.  But I have a picture of all those with disability, those whose functions in the body aren’t so clearly defined.  I picture my boy standing with the first … next to Christ.

The Bible verse I’m loving today:
2 Corinthians 12:9

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One thought on “Essential vs. Non-Essential

  1. When I first began going through the divorce, I kept praying for strength. One of my friends directed me to 2 Corinthians 12:9 and told me that I should remember that God's power and glory is evident in my weakness not in my strength. That really made me think, and I started to realize how true that was. God is most evident when I don't rely on myself to take care of things, but when I give those things over to Him and say, “I can't do this. Only you can – and when you carry me through this, your power will be evident to others.”

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