Listen. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 that the church is like a body. Through baptism by the Holy Spirit, we become part of the church, which Paul calls the body of Christ. Just as a body is made up of many parts, each having their own function, so also, we are the parts of the body of Christ and each of us has a special function. This is important for two reasons: (1) every person is needed by the church and (2) every person needs the church.
Just as every part of the body, even the ones we rarely notice, so also each person has a gift that has been given to them by God. Some gifts may seem more spectacular and important than others, but the truth is God has chosen our gifts and placed us in the church for a reason.
It also works the other way: every person needs the church. Just as a hand or foot can’t live detached from the body, so also we can’t follow Jesus apart from his body. Through faith in Christ, we now belong to his body. If one part of his body hurts, we all hurt. If one part of his body succeeds, we all rejoice. We are no longer alone, we belong to something larger than ourselves.
Discussion. How does seeing the church as the body of Christ change how you see yourself? How does it affect the way you live? How does it affect the decisions that you make? Think about your life. In what way do you need the church? Think about your gifts, that is, the things that you are good at. In what way can your gifts be used to strengthen the church? What has God given you that you can offer the body of Christ?
Set Goals. How will you connect to a church on a regular basis? What gifts will you seek to learn about, develop and use for the benefit of the church? Who will you teach this lesson to?