Ever so briefly, imagine with me a person hobbling along on one foot. The reason he is hobbling on one foot is that his other foot is lying there on the ground a few feet behind him, severed from his body. What good is that foot going to do his body? Since this picture has gotten a little dark and disturbing, stop imagining – but consider the point! An unattached member cannot fulfill his intended role in the body. In earlier lessons about the ABBA acronym, our tool for identifying our role in the church, we have learned to consider ability, burden and blessing.
The Second A Is for Attachment
Every Christian has a secure membership in the body of Christ – once you are in Christ you cannot be severed from Him. But being practically attached to a fellowship of the Lord’s people is a different story. The will of God for people is not only salvation but also to be part of a local church. That is where the truth of the one, united body of Christ is going to be put into practice and lived out. So when Paul teaches the Christians in Corinth about the different members of Christ’s body having their different gifts and ministries, he says to that local church, “Now you are Christ’s body” (1Co 12:27 NET).
God saved you and placed you in the body of Christ that you might fulfill a role in that body. But you can’t really fulfill your role in the body if you aren’t involved with the body. Remember the severed foot above? It wasn’t serving its purpose. The way to be involved in the life of the body is to be practically attached to it in the life of a local church. Be invested in it. Be involved. Be committed. The Scriptures compare the Church to a bride for Christ (Eph 5; 2Co 11). If you want to love Christ, love His Church – be attached.
We could also use another “A” that makes a similar point: Be Available. As you make yourself available to help in the local assembly, in time, different avenues of service are likely to open up to you; “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecc 9:10 ESV). The biblical path to serving the body of Christ is through being genuinely attached to a local church.
That’s ABBA – Ability, Burden, Blessing and Attachment. Remember and apply those four principles to help you in identifying your ministry. But ABBA also directs our attention to one remaining point that needs to be carefully added to help you understand your role in the church. Check back here for the final installment of ABBA next time.