Teamwork in the Church

Photo by Luis Quintero on

If you read 1 Corinthians 12:27 you’ll see what teamwork should be: “Now you [all] are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it.” I love pointing out that the word “member” originally meant “body part,” as in arms and legs, or guts and bones. Just think about your own body. Your heart pumps blood. Your bones are for structure and mineral storage. Your muscles are for movement. In Christ’s body, different body parts (members) have different roles, too: like preaching, giving, encouraging, prophesying. And we didn’t just up and decide what roles we wanted; the chapter says, “…God has placed each of the members in the body just as he decided. If they were all the same member, where would the body be?”

Earlier in the chapter, it even says, “…the body is not a single member [body part], but many. If the whole body were an eye, what part would do the hearing? If the whole were an ear, what part would exercise the sense of smell?” We need all the different parts. And all the different parts actually need each other, like it says further on, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.” That’s teamwork.

Now, some team players are more obvious to the congregation, like the singers, musicians, or preachers. But we know how important those doing sound, lighting, and video are, and they’re undercover–behind the scenes. If you read further in the chapter, this is actually addressed in a funny way: we’re actually told the private parts of the body are covered up by clothes like underwear to honor them, while parts we normally present to the world, like hands and faces, don’t need anything extra to honor them.

So in reality, the body parts are equalized. The chapter says, “…God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.”

And that’s real teamwork, where we feel the pain or the joy of the other body parts. Teamwork and division don’t mix. That’s why we’re so connected and not independent from each other. In fact, we’re all actually dependent on our team Captain. I like pointing out “Captain” comes from a word meaning “head.” And doesn’t a body need a head to live? Ephesians 4:15 tells us Christ is the Head of the Body. This Body is his Church after all. May we stay united and interconnected as the body parts of his Church.

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