“How It Works” is a British TV show and magazine that explains how things operate and how they are made, things like batteries, ham, sushi, and rubber gloves. Even though we use or consume these items on a regular basis, most of us have no idea how or why they do what they do. Except for a select few of our members who design them (you know who you are), many items are flat out mysterious, like cell phones, Siri (or Alexa, if you prefer), airplanes, and… the church.
I’m in good company when I say that the church is a mystery. In Ephesians 3 Paul speaks of the mystery of Christ, (v. 4,), the mystery of Gentiles as fellow heirs (v. 6), and why he preaches, “…to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known.” (v. 9,10) In Ephesians 5 he describes the marriage relationship of husbands and wives and exclaims, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (v. 32)
Yes, for many people it’s unclear how the local church operates. Questions like, “How are decisions made?”, “Who is in charge?”, “What do pastors do the other six days of the week?”, “Who are our elders?”, and many others contribute to the mystery around the church. Not to mention the fact that every church is unique. And for many of us, our definitions and expectations of “the right way to do it” are shaped by our own experiences, good or bad.
So for the next three weeks we’ll explore what the Bible says rather than depend on our own opinions. We’ll explore 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, Colossians 1, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1 and other passages that unravel the mystery of the church. You’ll see the organic and unique dynamic of God at work in Valley Church. It’s not a corporation or organization, not a club or committee, it’s a living, breathing, BODY. I hope you’ll plan to be there for all three weeks.
It’s NO mystery that our church picnic is coming up on Sept 16th! It’s a wonderful time to see the whole body together.