"And he is the head of the body, the church…" Colossians 1:18
Occasionally, we hear people say, "Christ, I love; the church, I don’t.” That is a false dichotomy; a contradiction in terms, for the church is the body of Christ. There is, however, the possibility of misguided leadership and procedures we may not agree with, but if we love Christ, we must love His church. It is His bride and His body, and He loves it. Effective Christian ministry depends on love. It is what gives the church its cutting edge and what changes us and makes us significant and fruitful.
A dynamically functioning church is a church built upon the person of Jesus Christ. Every Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body, and shares the life of the Spirit of God, so that we may play an active role in His work in this world. All that God wants to do from heaven He does through His church, using ordinary people. Being a fruitful Christian means being a part of His church. If we are not involved with the people of God and the work of God, our spiritual lives will inevitably dry up.
God made us who we are for a reason that is designed to bring enrichment to others. He has uniquely gifted each of us to be used in the Church of Jesus Christ. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we choose not to use our God-given gifts in conjunction with the church. As innovative and promising as we think our ideas and plans to be on our own, they will wither and die, because to set ourselves apart from the church of Jesus Christ, we set ourselves apart from His empowering and direction.
Our different strengths and weaknesses are what make us mutually dependent on one another and fruitful. We can either be channels for God or blockages. A mark of spiritual maturity is not being threatened by what we cannot do, nor arrogant about what we can. We need to be secure in both areas, dependent on Christ and each other. The church was never intended to function with a few at the top, but with everyone working together to reach the world for Christ.
Human beings are fallible, but the church of Jesus Christ operates under the authority and power of Jesus Christ who is infallible. It is Christ we need to look to, not the things we are disgruntled over. There is no freedom to seek our own agendas, only that of Jesus Christ. We cannot separate Christ from His church. If we have a heart for Christ, then we need a heart for His church.