Not The Same Without You
September 21, 2022 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Deep Thoughts

Large Cross shape made from people standing

Why The Church Isn’t the same Without You

Around 2,000 years ago on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel, there was a strange occurrence amongst the people called “followers of the Way.”  This moniker was a reference to Jesus’ words, recorded later in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will know my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  You can read about the tangible appearance of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, but the strange occurrence wasn’t the tongues of fire or the speaking of different languages.

It was the movement God started for the people, through a person, and by the people.

Normally a church’s focus in marketing is similar to any sales division: “This is why you need our product.”  On one level, that is true for you too.  John 3:16 famously offers, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”  It’s the prize Peter offers in Acts 2:38 and the freedom offered to a person caught in adultery, a tax collector who had been swindling people, those who were lepers and considered untouchable and unlovable, a wealthy fabric dealer, and thousands more in scripture.

But there’s another reason I think you should be a part of Christ’s Church through a local church.

Because the Church can’t be the Church without you.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”

-1 Corinthians 12:12 (NRSV)

You can find 3 lists in Paul’s letters describing the various gifts and traits that make up a church.  Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 all lay out the truth that a church needs many different types of people, with many different types of interest, and many different gifts and abilities.

In addition, Acts 6 tells the story of how the apostles were so overwhelmed by taking care of the poor that they couldn’t find time for teaching, worship, or other responsibilities of Christ’s Church.  Enter Stephen, who had a passion for the work of mercy and justice that complemented the apostles’ passion for transformational teaching.

It takes all kinds, and I would argue that until you’re a part of the Church, we haven’t seen the full expression of what God intended.

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

-Genesis 1:27 (NRSV)

Jeremiah is told in a vision, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”.  One of the Psalmists exclaims, “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

There’s a long-standing tradition within scripture and theology that humanity holds a special place in creation.  We are given the role of co-creator alongside God, with the ability to name the animals and steward the land in a way that produces vegetation and life.  What theologians call this is “the Imago Dei” or “the image of God.”

Why Church needs you, is because you were also created in God’s image with the creative ability for good, and as stated above, God intended for the image to be complete.  No one person carries the full image of God (that would idolatry), but together we express the gifts, personalities, and goodness of God.

We’re just not the same without you.

Or your friends.

Or your neighbors.

Or your enemies.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus doesn’t limit the Great Commission to one nation or one type of person.

We’re just not the same without you.

See you Sunday.


David Lessner

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