Fields: A better congregation

Published 8:02 pm Friday, October 6, 2017

The theme for the 2017 Northside Lectureship is “A Better Congregation Begins With Me.” Each congregation is made up of individuals and each individual functions within the larger collective that is the congregation.

The apostle Paul emphasizes this in his picture of the congregation as a body made up of individual members all functioning together for the good of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). In the context of this passage the apostle is instructing the congregation of Corinth on the proper view they should have toward their spiritual gifts. The same principle would apply to our God-given abilities and talents.

That is, a congregation is like a body with feet, hands, ears, eyes, etc. When the feet function like they’re supposed to and the hands function like they’re supposed to, along with the eyes, nose, etc., then the body functions in a healthy manner.

When one part of the body isn’t functioning according it’s purpose then the body, as a whole, is sick or weak because of it.

Likewise, when those who have the ability to teach, or minister or exhort or provide resources (give) or lead (cf. Romans 12:3-8); do those things according to their ability then the body as a whole (the congregation) is healthy because of it.

However, when one member of the body isn’t functioning according to their ability then the whole body is weaker because of it. The same emphasis is found in 4:15, 16.

Just like our physical body grows and functions healthily when all of the individual parts function as they were designed to function, so the spiritual body of the congregation grows and functions healthily when “every part does its share.” Peter uses the illustration of a physical building to illustrate how each member is a part of that building (1 Peter 2:4, 5).

Each individual member of a congregation is like a “living stone” in the structure of that congregation.  This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to learn more about contributing to a stronger body or house with a series of lessons on “A Better Congregation Begins With Me.” We begin on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Oct. 8, at 9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Five lesson in all. Please see our website for more information:

Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950.