September 3, 2019
By MATT GIBERT
This coming weekend will be historic in the life of our church. On Saturday evening, we will celebrate the Lord’s work through Steve and Mae Belle King’s 36 years of faithful service to Cherrydale Baptist Church as Steve moves into his new role as Senior Pastor Emeritus. (Remember: he’s not retiring!) In our Sunday services the next morning, we will install Tom Oostdyk as our new Lead Pastor. During leadership transitions, there is great potential for Satan to expose and exploit weaknesses, sow discord, and distract us from our mission to make disciples who love God and people above all else. As I have been meditating recently on 1 Corinthians 12, I see two applications for us during this season:
1. We need each other
The apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor 12:21, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” If you’re a regular attender reading this and you’re not yet a member of our church, please consider this instruction: we need you and you need us (and there is no argument to the contrary). Our four-session membership class called Cherrydale Explored starts this Sunday. We would love for you to attend so that you might become a part of our body.
If you are already a member, notice in 1 Cor 12 that we are all indispensable. This informs how we view ourselves and other members! Now is the time for us to rally together in our beautiful diversity of gifts: “God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another” (vv. 24b–25, emphasis mine). Division is the enemy’s work, and we must pray and work against it as we care for one another, now and always.
2. Every member has equal value
God has appointed leaders like Steve and Tom in the church (vv. 28–31), but in this passage, Paul emphasizes every member’s importance. While it is appropriate for us to commemorate this momentous leadership transition in our church, we must not forget one of Steve’s key teachings—“every Christian is on first string”—for it echoes Paul’s in v. 12: “The body does not consist of one member, but of many.”