One of the hardest things about planting a church is trying to figure out biblically what a church is supposed to do and what it should look like. Of course, we have our ideas of what a church should look like. Things like: you should meet on Sunday mornings, you should congregate at a certain location for a prescribed time limit, you should sing three songs for your worship set using certain instruments, you should have certain qualifications for particular ministries inside the church…etc.
Within our thinking; we isolate the “Church” to a particular location that has a handful of qualified people to perform ministry in a certain way that we are familiar with. This mindset creates people who are church building attenders not recognizing that the “church” is the people who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation and that the church goes beyond the walls of a building and each one is equipped to do ministry
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
…Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. Ephesians 5:23
Once you become a child of God through Christ’s finished work on the cross; you become part of the Body of Christ (ie. Church). Christ is the head of the body directing it for His glory. Not all of us is the same part of that body, but each one is very important to helping the body being the hands and feet to a lost world.
It is easy to only associate with those who think and act like us, but we need the diversity within the body to challenge us, to keep us accountable and for an opportunity for us to not think to highly of our selves (Rom 12:3).
Since the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer, each believer has the ability to perform any gift of the body as God directs, but each one has at least have one unique gift or purpose that God has given to them to help move the Body of Christ forward in reaching a lost world.
The church is likened to a body, so we can rejoice and morn together. This is to help us with unity. Think of your own body; if you stub a pinky toe, do you cut it off or doctor it to help your body to keep going. The same with a splinter in the finger. Do you cut it off or work on getting the splinter out so it doesn’t fester?
Sometimes in the Body of Christ; we want to cut off those who are not like us or those who are struggling. We seem that it is easier to cut off those less important parts of the body instead of making them strong and useful for Christ.
Within the Body of Christ, we are called to preach, teach, exhort, serve, lead, love and contribute to others within the body. This needs to be done without hypocrisy while cheerfully showing mercy to each one within the body (Rom 12:6-16).
Basically, treat others within the Body of Christ the same way you treat your body. Each believer is equipped for ministry, so be the one that reaches out to the struggling parts of the body. Preach the truth to them, encourage them and love them. Someday you might be the one who is struggling and the one that you helped could be the one that puts you back on track.
This is what the “church” should look like.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Romans 12:16