Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Body Life

I attended a meeting today at work. It was the first of many that will take place over the coming months as our organization puts together new policies made necessary by our recent restructuring. In the introductory package that we each received was a list of team responsibilities. As I read them, I couldn't help but relate them to much of the material I have been perusing over the last few months about Biblical (sometimes called "House") church. I will list some of them below as they were written and discussed, only I will include in brackets words that would refer to Christians as gathered in a fellowship/worship meeting.

1. You are an important member of the team (Body of Christ).
  • As a member of the team (body), you will participate in dialogue, group work (prayer, teaching, singing) and decision making. Being a participant means "one who shares, or takes part in," not one who observes.
  • Plan to attend each meeting....Communicate planned abscenses to your team lead (brothers and sisters)...Your attendance and commitment to the (body) is very important.

2. Your contributions to the team (body) are valuable.

  • Recognize that you come to the team (body) with your own wealth of knowledge and experience (spiritual gifts). You also come to the team (body) representing the wealth of knowledge and experience of your peers (ones that have discipled you).
  • Be aware that the sharing of information (instruction) from yourself as the embodiment of your peers (ones that have discipled you) will be recognized and valued.

3. Demonstrate respect for each member of your team (body).

  • Organizational (Biblical) values will be demonstrated among all members of your team (body) and in your team work (body life).
  • When contributing to the group dialogue and decision making, each team (body) members' thoughts will be listened to and not ignored or dismissed.
  • Remember that listening is also a part of participating.

4. Practice objectivity. Trust and support will provide the conditions essential where information (edification) can be shared openly and mutual and consensual understanding (encouragement) will be achieved.

  • Assist our team (brothers and sisters) in creating a sense of safety, openness and trust to help your team members (brothers and sisters) feel secure to contribute to the functions (use of spiritual gifts) of the team (body).
  • Be aware that it is okay to experience risk.
  • Remember, there is no hierarchy amongst the team (body) membership. Each member will have an equal voice.

5. Acknowledge that conflict and the resolution of conflict between members of your team (brothers and sisters) are integral to the collaborative process (healthy growth and functioning of the Body of Christ).

  • Demonstrate responsibility when contributing to the resolution of any conflicts that may arise.
  • Maintain respect (show love to) for all team (body) members involved regardless of the outcome.

As I read and re-read these items, I could not help but see a sad irony in them. They clearly mirror some basic principles as outlined in scripture regarding how we are to function as members of Christ's body, especially when gathered to worship and fellowship together.

I mused over these things for several minutes during that meeting today. How tragic that a secular workplace should promote, and attempt to adhere to, a set of instructions like these. It is tragic, because even though we as Christians have clear guidelines laid out for us in scripture, we seem to ignore them completely when it comes to our gathering together to worship God and fellowship with one another. And this committe, apart from any acknowledgement of God or His ways, may more closely resemble the Biblical model of "church", at least in terms of form and function, than the majority of Christian gatherings today. Sad indeed.


Anonymous said...

Great connections you have here with your company's team responsibilities/policies and House Churches. Could also be said for institutional congregational models as well.

You sum up nicely what my heart resonates about the Religious mentality connection there.

~Amy :)

Leonard said...

Hi Maureen,
Sad but I'ts gracious of Him to have brought you to this place of clearer vision, where your seeing these things, don't you think?

Maureen said...

Amy and Bino:
Thanks for your comments. Yes, I am so incredibly grateful to be at a place of clearer understanding. I am saddened, but not cast down, because I believe that Christ will restore His Church to be His glorious Bride before His return. I am encouraged to be finding so many others who are being led out of religious bondage, and who are seeking Him alone, and not allowing any man or tradition to come between.

Have a grace filled day!

Leonard said...

Maureen, Who's Bino???

Don't feel to bad about that, I getting use to it, happens all the time over at Amy's place.

ps. I'm encouraged to be finding others also.

Maureen said...

Leonard I'm so sorry!!! I have been reading too many blogs lately. And yes, I know it has happened to you before. Please don't get a complex! And please don't stop visiting here.

Leonard said...

No worries, I'm gonna install your short cut so I don't have to check favorites or your profile to find my way here. As Arnold would say," Ill be back"... thank you for your friendship.
LottO Grace.