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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

Part of the Body of Christ (Am I an Elbow?)

Do you ever dread going to committee meetings? Be honest! Okay, so sometimes I do! Maybe you forget you even have a meeting, and then you look at the calendar or the church bulletin, and BOOM–there it is staring at you: “Committee meeting today!” The smile leaves your face and you start rearranging your schedule for the day in your mind. Shoot–I was going to take a nap after church!


I am guilty of this, even when it comes to church committee meetings. However, I really do believe that I need to change my attitude. Maybe committee meetings aren’t what we equate with a rip-roaring party, but they are absolutely necessary to get the work done! It is God’s work when we are planning for ministries that will “help people discover Christ through the seasons of life.” This is the purpose of the church where I am a member, Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene here in Mitchell, SD.


Not only are the meetings important for planning events, they are also important for brainstorming ideas for new events that might help people in the church connect with God and with other Christians. It’s pretty cool when you hear stories of families that came to the church because of an event like Trunk or Treat!


Today, I was reminded that I am just a part of the body of Christ, and the body of Christ in my church is pretty amazing! We had committee meetings today after church; first we had a potluck, which always makes me happy, and then the trustees and stewards split into two groups for the formal meeting time. Potlucks brighten my day as the food is always amazing: one lady brought grain free and sugar free chocolate zucchini cake, which was tasty and healthy; another lady brought rhubarb cake, with rhubarb picked fresh from her yard. I didn’t mention the incredible homemade lasagna, but I better stop as I’m making myself hungry!


I am so blessed to be able to work with humble and giving people who have a real heart for God, and they all have special talents. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 where Paul talks about the body of the church and its parts. My favorite verses are 18-20: “God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.” Verse 27 makes the idea even more personal when it says, “You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”


There are people in my church who love to work in the kitchen, and they can cook and clean better than Martha Stewart! There are people in my church who can decorate and make any event special. There are people who can paint and build and fix things. There are people who teach the children or take care of the babies in the nursery. There are creative people who come up with new ministries and events. Even though these aren’t my gifts, I’ve found my place in the body as well. If everyone worked in the kitchen, and we didn’t have anyone to take care of the babies or teach the children, we wouldn’t be meeting the needs of the young people in our church. If everyone was creative and helped come up with new events, and we didn’t have anyone to build or fix things, the church would fall down around us. It’s just like Paul’s analogy with the physical body: we need hands and feet and eyes and ears! Without any of those parts, the body just doesn’t function properly.


We have a woman in our church who has outstanding talents as a decorator. For our women’s events, she changes the fellowship hall into whatever theme we’ve decided on; she literally transforms it! Every month when we have an event, she drags in dozens of totes with decorations all geared toward the theme we’re using that month, and then she does some kind of magic! It always astounds me when I look around the room at the beauty she’s created, and the women that come to our events feel so special, knowing that someone went to those lengths to make their time at the brunch special.


It’s really a lovely feeling when you find your fit in the body of Christ. For me, I love being a part of the worship team. I love singing hymns and worship songs–it fills me with joy to be a part of the team, and many Sundays I get overwhelmed with emotion, as I blink back the tears and listen to the lyrics. I also serve on our church board where I take minutes at our meetings. As an English teacher, I feel like I can serve in this way. Then in 2021, Michelle and I started putting together women’s events for our women’s ministry at our church. I am blessed by being able to serve in these ways!


I know for sure I am not a great cook. In fact, part of the reason I fell in love with my husband is that he is a fantastic cook. Thank you, Lord, for Geoff’s culinary talents! That spaghetti dinner he cooked for my roommate and me during our sophomore year in college is when I began to think I should date him!


Here's a picture of my amazing husband who is a culinary genius on an Alaskan cruise enjoying the culinary delights of the chefs onboard:



But along with cooking, I also know that helping with the landscaping at the church is not my forte. But it’s okay if I don’t cook or do landscaping because there are others in the church with those talents! God made us all to be different on purpose, so our talents could complement one another! Again, we can’t all be eyes, and we can’t all be ears! I think maybe I’m an elbow . . . hmmmm. . . I’m not sure what God would say!


Even though committee meetings don’t always seem like fun, I know they serve a purpose, and I am thankful for the Godly servants that are a part of my church! Along with these Godly servants, I am able to serve the people in our church and community to “help them discover Christ through the seasons of life!” I am just one part of the body of Christ in my church, but each part is essential to the whole!


Thanks for reading, friends!


Love,

Julie


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