What is the Church? – Part 2

There are two roles of the church as entity.  The first is to dispense the grace of Jesus Christ.  This was communicated by Jesus himself in what we call “The Great Commission.”  We are to live our lives in such a manner that, as we live our lives (go grocery shopping, walk our dogs, drive our cars, play X-Box), we make disciples; we do this by baptizing them, and teaching them about the way of Jesus.

But, and I’m going to choose my words carefully here, there is indeed an order to the manner in which this (dispensation of grace in any form) is done from a corporate standpoint.    Let’s take a look at two stories.

In Mark 6, we can read about Jesus feeding the five thousand.  The disciples have been sent on, and then return from, a short-term mission trip.  Jesus tries to do a debrief with them but the people make it impossible.  And, because Jesus loves people more than he loves policy and procedure, he feeds them.  Verses 39 and 40 give us insight into Jesus’ dispensing of help to people in need.

“Then Jesus directed them  (the disciples) to have all of the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.”

The second story is found in Acts chapter 6.  The Twelve were administering (dispensing and applying grace) to unheard of levels.  A group of new disciples approached the Twelve with the news that their widows were being overlooked in the daily food administration (dispensing).  The response of the Twelve was not, “We are not a business”, rather, it was, “We are so caught up in the dispensing of grace through the proclamation of Jesus Christ, that we cannot be sidetracked by the administration (management) of food.  Choose 7 men from among YOU, men who are filled with both the Spirit (dispensation of grace) and wisdom (management) so that they can administer (manage) and administer (dispense) the food situation.”

Which is what happened.  Not surprisingly, because those 7 men were so adept at administration (of both kids), and because the 12 were adept at administration (dispensing of grace), the church grew.

In both instances, we must recognize that there was administration (managing) in order that the administration (dispensing) of grace via food could take place.

On of the things that I urge you to see is that administration of both kinds is absolutely necessary for the church to grow.  In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul says that the church, the Body of Christ, is made up of multiple parts.  Like the human body, each person has a role to perform, a function and purpose within the body.  Those roles are likened to giftedness, and…administration is a gift. The Greek is κυβέρνησις and it means “to steer”, “pilotage.”  There is an order, a direction that things must take, and the church is no different from that.

When the dispensing of the daily food took place without administration, people went hungry.  Jesus told the crowd to sit in groups, why?  So everyone could be fed.

Here’s what the church needs to take a hard look at.  Administration (managing and responsibility) is a necessary aspect of the administration (dispensing) of grace.  Organization and structure are not bad.  Asking people to be committed is an effective way to minister. And, having a structure, complete with accountability and responsibility in place, is the most effective way to minister.

Find people that love Jesus and Jesus only.  And then give them responsibility.  It’s why they are in your church.

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