BODY CONVERSATIONS

A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR ONENESS AND DIVERSITY

MOBILIZING HIS BODY SERIES 5: Mobilizing the Body of Christ for love and service for all people within and outside the Body of Christ


ADDRESSING EMPLOYMENT ISSUES…FOR THE COMMON GOOD!

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON WHAT ROLE OUR CHURCHES CAN PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT OR LINK OUR MEMBERS AND OUR COMMUNITIES TO EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.         

Summary:  Jesus said in Luke 10:7, “the Laborer is worthy of his hire!” Within our communities, there are historical and current disparities in unemployment rates among different ethnic populations.  It is more difficult for an ex-offender or person without a high school diploma to land employment that could sustain oneself and one’s family.   

Today’s Context:  We know that one of the best ways to empower a person or head of household to provide for their family is to provide or link them to the best employment opportunities available.  As the church becomes more active in this area, we can help families become more God-Dependent and financial self-sufficient without have dependence on government or others.  

ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES…FOR THE COMMON GOOD!

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON HOW OUR CHURCHES CAN MORE APPROPRIATELY LOVE AND SERVE PERSONS WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES WITHIN OUR FAMILIES, CHURCHES, AND COMMUNITIES.         

Summary:  Members in our congregations and residents in our communities maybe suffering from various forms of short or long-term mental health issues.  In the scriptures, we find that Jesus was able to “Heal the Sick!”  Mental Health issues are becoming much more prevalent within our families, churches, and communities, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, bipolar, suicidal, etc. .  Whether it is a younger person or senior, mental health issues can have a major impact on one’s financial stability, employment, educational success, spiritual health, relationships, etc.     

Today’s Context:  In 2018 and beyond, how can the Body of Christ provide support, care, and healing for those experiencing various mental health issues…like Jesus did?   

ADDRESSING PHYSICAL HEALTH ISSUES WITHIN OUR CHURCHES AND COMMUNITIES…FOR THE COMMON GOOD! 

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON HOW OUR CHURCHES CAN MORE APPROPRIATELY LOVE AND SERVE PERSONS WITH PHYSICAL HEALTH ISSUES WITHIN OUR FAMILIES, CHURCHES, AND COMMUNITIES.        

Summary:  Members in our congregations and residents in our communities maybe suffering from various forms of short or long-term physical health issues.  In the scriptures, we find that Jesus was able to “Heal the Sick!”  Whether it is a younger person or senior, an extended physical illness can have a major impact on one’s financial stability, employment, relationships, mental health, spiritual health, etc.       

Today’s Context:  In 2018 and beyond, how can the Body of Christ provide support, care, and healing for those suffering from various physical health issues…like Jesus did?     

ADDRESSING LEARNING AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES IN OUR CHURCHES AND COMMUNITIES…FOR THE COMMON GOOD! 

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION HOW OUR CHURCHES CAN MORE APPROPRIATELY LOVE AND SERVE PERSONS WITH LEARNING AND/OR PHYSICAL DISABILITIES IN OUR FAMILIES, CHURCHES, AND COMMUNITIES.         

Summary:  Members in our congregations and residents in our communities maybe suffering from various forms of learning and physical disabilities including, but not limited to: autism, downs syndrome, blindness, deafness, mute, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, attention deficit, etc.  Whether it is a younger person or senior, learning and physical disabilities can have a major impact on one’s financial stability, employment, relationships, mental health, spiritual health, etc.        

Today’s Context:  In 2018 and beyond, how can the Body of Christ provide support, care, and healing for those with various learning and physical disabilities…like Jesus did? 

CREATING A FUTURE VISION OF PRECISION FOR A MULTICULTURAL CHURCH

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION HOW GOD CAN GIVE US PRECISE VISIONS FOR OUR CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES TO ACHIEVE BIBLICAL ONENESS AND DIVERSITY TO LOVE AND SERVE OUR CHURCHES, MINISTRIES, AND COMMUNITIES.            

Summary:  Jesus shares with us that the very hairs of our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30).  Our Jesus is a Jesus of Precision!  He precisely followed the commands of His Father.        

Today’s Context:  Within our churches and ministries, we sometimes speak in heavenly terms and visions in the clouds and sky.  God so loved humanity that He came down from the clouds and sky to save each of us…precisely.  May we pray for precise visions to bring forth healing within our congregations and the communities God has called us to love and serve.  We have precise needs that Jesus has a precise solution to address it!

   

GOING FIRST TO THE LOST SHEEP

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION OF UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS OF BEGINNING TO MOBILIZE HIS BODY IN OUR CHURCHES STARTS WITH US SEARCHING, FINDING, RECONNECTING, EQUIPPING, AND THEN RELEASING OUR LOST SHEEP WITHIN OUR CONGREGATIONS.             

Summary:  …“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5-6.  Jesus was clear in His strategy to mobilize His Body for love and service to all people.  Jesus is instructing us to first go to the lost sheep (members) within and outside of our churches, before we go to lost people in our communities and throughout the world.        

Today’s Context:  As the lost sheep within our congregations are found, connected, and mobilized, they will then be empowered to be Christ’s witnesses in our local Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and remotest part of the world!  Acts 1:8. 

JESUS AND DECISION-MAKING:  THE MODEL FOR BIBLICAL ONENESS AND DIVERSITY DECISION-MAKING!

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION TO EXPLORE HOW JESUS MODELED BIBLICAL ONENESS AND DIVERSITY IN HOW HE MADE DECISIONS WITH THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AS WELL AS HOW HE TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES TO MAKE DECISIONS.              

Summary: How did Jesus make decisions with His Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit?  How did Jesus make decisions with His disciples?        

Today’s Context:  We tend to bring into the church, decision-making methods that we successfully use in the workplace, politics, and other cultural settings…but are they biblical?

JESUS’ SHEPHERDING OF LEADERSHIP: SHEPHERDING WELL OUR CHURCH, MINISTRY, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

LET’S HAVE CONVERSATION ON HOW JESUS SHEPHERD HIS LEADERSHIP AND HOW WE CAN TAKE STEPS TO FOLLOWING HIS EXAMPLE IN SHEPHERDING WELL OUR LEADERSHIP AND TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE HEALTHY.               

Summary:  In reference to Jesus’ Leadership Team, He stated in John 17 in His prayer to our Heavenly Father that He did not lose one in His leadership team, except for Judas.  Within our churches, ministries, and communities…the 20/100 rule still applies.  20% of the workers doing 100% of the work.  The question is, “How are we taking care of our staff/lay leadership in our churches, ministries, and communities?        

Today’s Context:  When we don’t take care of our leadership, they cannot take care of our membership!  A Healthy Leadership will strengthen a healthy church, ministry, and community to experience Biblical Oneness and Diversity!

LOVING THY NEIGHBOR:  THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION HOW A CHURCH OR TEAM OF CHURCHES CAN MOBILIZE THEIR RESOURCES TO ADDRESS REAL NEEDS WITHIN THE COMMUNITIES THEY ARE CALLED TO LOVE AND SERVE.               

Summary:  God has placed each church in a community for a reason.  A church or team of churches have a calling to love and serve the communities that surround them.  Within these surrounding neighborhoods, there are many needs including but not limited to:  children, youth, family, schools, businesses, employment, crime, gangs, addictions, domestic violence, homelessness, physical/mental health, persons with disabilities, food, housing, etc.        

Today’s Context:  Churches are not called to put fences and walls up to keep their neighbors out, but churches are called to break down walls of division to be the loving and serving Body of Christ to their neighbors!

MOBILIZING HIS BODY! 

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION HOW A CHURCH OR TEAM OF CHURCHES CAN MOBILIZE THEIR RESOURCES TO ADDRESS REAL NEEDS WITHIN THE COMMUNITIES THEY ARE CALLED TO LOVE AND SERVE.               

Summary:  God has placed each church in a community for a reason.  A church or team of churches have a calling to love and serve the communities that surround them.  Within these surrounding neighborhoods, there are many needs including but not limited to:  children, youth, family, schools, businesses, employment, crime, gangs, addictions, domestic violence, homelessness, physical/mental health, persons with disabilities, food, housing, etc.        

Today’s Context:  Churches are not called to put fences and walls up to keep their neighbors out, but churches are called to break down walls of division to be the loving and serving Body of Christ to their neighbors!

KNOWING OUR MINISTRY BOUNDARIES

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON KNOWING THE GEOGRAPHICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES OF OUR CHURCH OR MINISTRY.               

Summary:  Jesus’ earthly ministry had specific geographical boundaries within Israel provinces of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea.  The Apostle Paul was called to minister to the gentiles within specific geographic regions.  Through our demographical and geographical diversity, God has placed our churches, ministries, and families within neighborhoods and communities.  Personally, within our families, churches, and ministries, has God called us to minister to target demographical and geographical populations?  We will explore biblical examples of Jesus, Paul, and others who were called specifically to minister to certain populations and not to others at certain points in their earthly ministry.        

Today’s Context:  In Matthew 28, Jesus commissioned us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest parts of the earth.  The question is…what are the “Local Jerusalem’s” our families, churches, and ministries are called to love and serve?

PROCESS MATTERS

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON HOW “PROCESS MATTERS” WHEN IT COMES HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE TO ACHIEVE A BIBLICAL OUTCOME WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.               

Summary:   “Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” Numbers 20:11.  In Numbers 20:8, God told Moses to speak to the rock…not to strike it!  Sometimes we can achieve a desired outcome, but in the wrong way.  In this current divisive and polarizing climate, we can sincerely seek to achieve a biblical goal or share a biblical truth, but in the wrong tone, words, actions, and/or decision-making process.  When only a desired decision outcome and not the decision-making process matters, it can cause greater division and higher levels of mistrust in the Body of Christ and Community.        

Today’s Context:  If we are not careful without the love of Christ driving us, we can become quite Machiavellian in our decision-making process to achieve a desired goal.  “The End justifies the means!”

PROVIDING QUALITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING…FOR THE COMMON GOOD!

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON HOW OUR CHURCHES CAN BECOME MORE ACTIVE IN ADDRESSING HOUSING SHORTAGES WITHIN THE CHARLOTTE REGION AND BEYOND.               

Summary:  Jesus said in John 14, “In my Father’s House are many mansions!”  As Jesus is describing heaven, He is describing a heaven with Heavenly Quality Housing!  In Charlotte as well as other urban centers, there is a growing need for quality affordable housing.  According to Enterprise Community Partners in April 2018, Charlotte lacks 24,000 affordable housing units to meet current needs.  Families are finding themselves homeless or not able to live near their place of employment.  Even where affordable housing was once available, neighborhoods are being gentrified with higher priced housing that working-class families cannot afford.        

Today’s Context:  What does it communicate about a City morally that does not have the will to provide affordable housing for its citizens?  Will the Body of Christ be part of the solution?

REALIZING AND RELEASING OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON A BIBLICAL FRAMEWORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR BIBLICAL ONENESS AND DIVERSITY THROUGH EACH OF US REALIZING AND RELEASING OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.                

Summary:  God has so beautifully designed each of us to be Fully Unique and Fully Unified as members in the Body of Christ.  According to 1 Corinthians 12, the Holy Spirit has empowered each of us with at least one spiritual gift to be realized and released in love and service to the Body of Christ.  The release of our gift(s) truly leads to a life that is fruitful and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.        

Today’s Context:  When we ask Christians the question, how many of us have realized and are releasing our spiritual gifts in love and service to the church…the consistent answer is 10%.  If this is the case, how can a 10% functioning church address 100% of the challenges within the church and community?  Of course, the answer to this question…it is not possible nor logical.

THE VALUE OF EVALUATION

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON THE BIBLICAL VALUE OF EVALUATION IN ADDRESSING ISSUES AND DEVELOPING PLANS IN OUR CHURCHES, MINISTRIES, AND COMMUNITIES.                  

Summary:  In Nehemiah 2, prior to Nehemiah instructing the people on the plan to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he conducted an evaluation of the current condition of the Jerusalem wall.  From Genesis to Revelation, we find assessments and evaluations being conducted prior to plans and actions being taken.        

Today’s Context:  Sometimes we can spend too much time with our eyes closed praying instead of spending as much time “watching and praying” to address the truth of our current situation.  Through prayer and honest evaluation, the Holy Spirit can give us instruction to develop a plan to address the situation.  

THE EVALUATION OF VALUE

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION TO EVALUATE OUR FAMILY, CHURCH, AND MINISTRY VALUES AND HOW THEY LINE UP WITH JESUS’ VISION FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST.                   

Summary:  Jesus said in Matthew 23:3, “Therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”  Each and all of us have been guilty at some point in our lives…of not practicing what we preach!  Personally, within our families, churches, and ministries, we can have a Clear Vision of who we say we are or who we would like to be, but what we value can be very different.  Jesus’ vision for His One and Diverse Body is clear in John 17 and 1 Corinthians 12.  But based on what we do, where our “time and dime” resources are allocated, the demographics of our leadership, do our values line up with His vision?         

Today’s Context:  We can quote scriptures, have wonderful vision statements, and deliver powerful sermons…but what we truly value is what we do!  Through the power, love, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, our values can line up with His vision!

THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH:  AN ASSEMBLY OR ASSEMBLED?

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION TO EXPLORE THE BIBLICAL CONCEPTS OF TRANSFORMING AN ASSEMBLY OF BELIEVERS INTO A FUNCTIONING BODY OF ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS!                   

Summary:  The Greek word for church in the New Testament is “Ecclesia,” which means “An Assembly of Believers.”  A key question for the 21st Century Church, are we called to be only “An Assembly” or are we called to become “Assembled?”  We believe that God has provided all the necessary parts of the Body of Christ to function properly, but the question is…are all parts of the Body of Christ functioning properly?          

Today’s Context:  Even if we know our spiritual gifts, it doesn’t mean that we know how to properly release our gifts in unity with other church members to carry Jesus’ intended work of ministry within and outside that congregation.