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Monday, April 20, 2009

Puzzle Pieces

I haven't put together a puzzle since I was a child but I have encountered a lot of puzzle pieces recently looking to find where they fit in. Many are searching for the right job, the right mate, the right church, the right car, the "magazine" appearance, the right this or the right that. The question of "where do I fit in" seems to loom and grow larger as a result we are seeing the return of many smaller places and venues of worship.

I wanted to take this opportunity to again reiterate what I have said, we will begin to see many worship assemblies in homes, storefronts, business sectors etc. Some of it is the result of disappointment with other assemblies and some of it the move of God. Internet church is on the rise and many are beginning to 'stay home' and fellowship, but is it possible to stay home and fellowship? Surely, we can fellowship with the Holy Spirit but what about the connecting, the coming together, the unity spoken of in Hebrews 10:25?

As I look around I see many believers in search of 'the church' that will feed their spirits, provide empowerment and growth opportunities, provide occasions to serve others and help them catapult to their next level in God. Some have been wandering (also called church hopping) for years. I really hate to state the obvious but here are some things to consider as the missing puzzle piece:

1. Your gifts are needed. Not everyone is called to be in a local assembly weekly but every believer is called to be fitly joined to the body of Christ. Some are called to serve outside the four walls of the church building.

2. There are no perfect assemblies. Keep looking unto Jesus not at the people. Every imperfection (and there will be many), perceived sin or fragment of gossip should not be cause for you to leave the church. In many cases it is those who stand in the gap that God will use to do a great work in an assembly. No, it;s not always God's will for you to stay nor is it always his will for you to go. Acknowlege him in all your ways and he will direct your path.

3. Everyone God calls to pastor is not called to pastor in the traditional sense and in the traditional setting. The United States seems to have a Christian church on every corner yet we are experiencing significant moral, ethical and spiritual decline in our nation. This season will usher in many non-traditional ministers and ministries that will take the gospel of Jesus Christ in obscure places. Be open to the voice of God.

4. A puzzle piece placed where it belongs fits; we are seeing an increase in title (Rev, Dr., Bishop,Apostle, Prophet etc) worship, position worship and church worship. It is indeed modern day idolatry. Eph 4:16 allows us to see that God's plan for the body is that each part of the body be fitly joined so that the body will increase itself by what each part supplies. A puzzle piece out of place stands out, so does a person operating in a call that is not his or hers to operate in. As we ofen say "let's stay in our lane".

5. If you are seeking a local assembly to connect with bear in mind that you have the responsibility to be what you are looking for. Know your positioning in the body of Christ and fit well.

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