Saturday, August 27, 2016

Seven Keys to Body Life. Can You Think of Any Others?


The body of Christ has great potential for good. However, Christ's followers frequently become side-tracked from what is truly important. This is usually caused by straying from scripture into a man-centered approach to church life. With that in mind, what sorts of things are critical to healthy body life?

I was musing on this question for a while earlier today. Seven key ingredients came to mind. They are, in no particular order:

1. Biblical fidelity
2. Bible study, discussion, teaching
3. Mutual edification
4. Sacrificial service
5. Sacrificial giving
6. Proclamation of the Gospel to the lost
7. Eating the Lord's Supper together

All of the above are critical to healthy, vibrant church life. All should glorify God while edifying the saints and/or proclaiming the good news to the world.

My guess is that I've left out a few critical aspects. What do you think? What would you add to this list to make it more complete?

10 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

To quote Heart: "What about love?"

Eric said...

Ah yes, Heart. That takes me back to high school. Big hair.

Love is, or course, critical to all aspects of body life. However, it doesn't really fit this specific list. For this post I'm thinking in terms of things we do as opposed to attitudes we have.

Peter Horvatin said...

All that we fellowship should know and understand sound doctrine is another that you could add to your list.

Pete

Eric said...

Peter,

Thanks for your comment. My guess is that we are thinking along the same lines. You used the term "sound doctrine" and I wrote "biblical fidelity" and "bible study, discussion, teaching." A lot of overlap there I hope.

Peter Horvatin said...

Hi Eric,

I understand what you mean when you say sacrificial giving. You added"sacrificial service. I think I'm having a senior moment (I'm 640 Could you flesh that out for me?

Pete

Eric said...

Peter,

I'm simply talking about serving others, both inside and outside the body of Christ. In my life, this usually takes the form of seeing a tangible need and trying to meet it. The uncomfortable fact is that service is often inconvenient. This is why it requires sacrifice. That sacrifice may be small, for example just a certain amount of time, or quite large. When we look at the Gospels and epistles we see much exhortation to sacrificial service.

Gunnar said...

I think you have a number of good indicator listed. However, I would add one --- commitment to each other. We are called to make disciples, and we are called to be one. How did Jesus make disciples? He spent time with them. He was committed to them --- not just one meeting a week --- it involved large quantities of his time. And we are called to be one. You can’t be one unless you really know each other and know each other’s weaknesses and strengths, your likes and dislikes, your passions and dreams. You can’t be really one until you have seen each other’s sins and weaknesses and still press on to know and love each other. And this can’t be done in a meeting --- we need to decide that the other people in your body are worth pursuing and spending time with; that knowing them and loving them is worth more than the things that we fill our lives with. This si hard --- I struggle with it.

T Aagard said...

Every institutionalized life church practices all these things but to a mediocre amount. I would add the element 100% so that every key element has no alternative to divert to practices God never asked for, or that actually contradict what God asked for.

1. 100% of giving goes out the door. No pooling money to buy spiritual goodies mostly for those who do the "giving". (Sacrifice is not just how much you give but where you direct your gifts.)
2. 100% mutual relationships. No titles, no hierarchy, no power structure other than Jesus is the head and the rest are all "members of one another".
3. 100% two way communication. Practiceing the 58 "one another" instructions leaves no time for one-way communication. "Preach the word", "feed my sheep", or "equipping the saints" can not be exposited to mean lecture the word, lecture my sheep, or lecture the saints.
4. 100% reproducing leadership. No ministry is fenced off for anyone. Every ministry is shared to every other believer. (Spiritual gifts are not a boundary to keep those not gifted out of a ministry, nor a cubical to keep only some people in a ministry. They are a catalyst for equipping every believer by those gifted so every believer can practice every function. We want everyone giving, serving, helping showing mercy, teaching, etc.
5. 100% inter-generational gatherings. Never send the children away. Jesus said, "for of such is the kingdom..."
6. 100% "new and living way" participation by every believer (including the children): Hebrews 10:24,25 A. "let us draw near with a pure heart... B. "let us hold fast our confession of faith... C. "let us consider how we can spur one another on to love and good works and encourage one another. (This is 24/7 preparation for the gathering by every member.
7. 100% hospitality. Every gathering includes the shared home and food provisions of God's people.

Paul G said...

Brother T Aagard, that sounds like the perfect Church :-) where is that Church ?
I like to be a member of that Church.
The perfect bride of Christ (Prov. 31:10-31), v. 10, who can find her ?

T Aagard said...

Paul G: I'm practicing it myself towards other believers who are trapped in normal church. I visit various ones and ask God to connect me to believers of peace who are interested in more relationship. Every time, so far, God does it. I'm amazed. It could be some are faking interest just to be sociable. What I have come up with isn't perfect yet but it's on the way there. This church can be anywhere any believers want to practice it. You already are a member of it.