Your Presence Speaks Day 5: What Does Your Presence Say Within Your Church?
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. … But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (1 Corinthians 12:14-15, 18-26, ESV)
Your local church needs you. I know, that’s a bit of a dramatic start to today’s devotional, but it’s true. Your presence is needed. The local church is a body, and we are part of it. Every part is just as important as the last. Our presence in the local church should be one of support and encouragement. Yes, we are called to be a light in the world, but we should also be a light in our local church. We should be so connected and supportive that our brothers and sisters in Christ are led even closer to Him. But first we have to be present.
You can’t really contribute as a member of the body if you aren’t one. That seems fairly obvious, but it’s a fact that is often disregarded by many believers today. More and more people are choosing not to meet with or be a part of a local church for one reason or another. “I’m just so busy with work these days.” “The people at church hurt my feelings.” “I don’t need to meet with people—I can worship God on my own.” While work schedules can be difficult and people can disappoint you, that does not mean the local church should not be a priority. Contrary to popular belief, we need each other. We need those breaks from work to sit with believers and listen to God’s Word. We need the support of people who know God. We also need to be the support of people who know God. You are doing yourself and your local church a disservice if you are not regularly meeting with believers.
So, you have a local church that you attend regularly. Are you plugged in or just going through the motions? Are you growing relationships with members or just checking off your church attendance requirement for the week? Just because you go to a local church does not mean you are truly a part of it. There is a reason the church is referred to as a body: because it works like one. Think about what your body is doing right now. Your eyes are moving, your brain is deciphering each word, your heart is pumping blood to your entire body, and your finger is probably scrolling through this devotional. Your body is working. Your local church has work to do, and if you are not actively fulfilling a role in it, you are hindering the work that needs to be done. You are like a gear in a large machine: if you are not moving, the rest of the machine cannot function properly.
Every member is vital. Say it with me: Every member is vital! There is no position or job so small that it is not important to the healthy functioning of the church. Who wants to meet in a church filled with trash and dirt? Who wants to go to a church where no one greets them at the door with a smile and a handshake? We all have a part to play and they all look different from each other. We are not all called to be preachers or missionaries, nor are we all called to be social butterflies or great cooks. When we are plugged in and fulfilling our role in the local church, it will thrive.
My challenge to you today is to find your role. If you aren’t sure what to do, open your eyes. Look for what needs to be done and do it. Do you have web design skills and notice the website could use some love? Do it. Do you notice the trash cans in the bathrooms are full? Empty them. Do you see a member who’s been acting distant or sad? Talk with them. Step up and be part of your local church in any way you can.