Growing Church: Everyone Has a Place
Paul wrote, “The body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Corinthians 12:14-18).

Every member has a place, but not every place is for every member. The eyes cannot do the work of the hands, nor can the hands do the work of the eyes. Both of these members are vital for the body.  When one does not function properly, the body becomes less efficient and effective. Members have to be trained. The feet must learn how to balance the body. The ears must be trained on how to listen. Each member must understand his or her place and be trained on how to do the work.

No matter who you are, you are needed. Those who greet are just as important as those who teach. If we do not greet visitors and develop contacts, we will have no one to teach. Those who write cards are just as important as those who baptize. If we do not show the lost the love of Christ, no one will desire to follow Christ. Paul said, “The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary” (1 Corinthians 12:21-22).

The church of Christ has one mission: to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Every part of the church is designed to complete this mission. In fact, God created each member in the body according to His pleasure of completing it. When parts of the body lose sight of the mission and begin to work independently, the entire body suffers. If the hand is not used for a prolonged period, it forgets its place, loses strength, and deteriorates. When the hand forgets its mission, it can hurt the body. Elders must make sure every member in the church of Christ knows his or her place. Providing training on a congregational and individual level will help members find their individual places. The congregation will grow when everyone is focused on the mission.

The HTHSOE model includes six steps and many opportunities to serve in the kingdom are within each step. It is the responsibility of the shepherds and preachers to teach and practice the process. Evangelism is not passive; prayer without practical application is ineffective. Now is the time to review the membership list and ensure each member knows his or her place in the plan.

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