My late husband often spoke of how God uses different churches for different purposes. Some, more intellectual in leaning, are used to draw those who are seeking deep conversations on faith; others, who lean toward the work of the Spirit, appeal to people who want to see God’s hand at work in the lives of others. Some churches are stronger in evangelism, while others in biblical teaching.
God uses each for his purposes, as her members, in harmony, practice their gifts under the leadership of Christ and by the power of the Spirit. When seen from God’s perspective, this amazing phenomenon produces beautiful music to his glory.
Sadhu Sundar Singh wrote:
The same breath is blown into the flute, cornet, and bagpipe, but different music is produced according to the different instruments. In the same way the one Spirit works in us, God’s children, but different results are produced, and God is glorified through them according to each one’s temperament and personality.Sadhu Sundar Singh, With and Without Christ
While believers are to grow up into the image of Christ, we don’t lose our uniqueness in the process. The way I obey the Father and love my fellow believer will demonstrate itself in ways different from my sister or brother in Christ.
Luke gives a concrete example of how the church works together:
When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.Acts 21:17, 19 (NIV)
Paul had a special role in reaching the Gentiles, but that didn’t mean the church in Jerusalem didn’t support him or want to hear about God’s work through him.
We are not a one-size-fits-all Christianity, but a garden of flowers, plants, and trees which become a beautiful tapestry of his work in our lives and churches.
Where does your church fit in the orchestra of God? What are her strengths overall? Ask God to help you better appreciate the other churches in your community, who may be serving other needs for his Kingdom.
Grace and Peace