You are not dispensable.

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

21The 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.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
I Corinthians 12:12-14, 21-27

 

You are not dispensable. Jesus poured out His life at the cross that you might be joined with Him in His body, the Church. He does see you, the individual. He has declared His love to you and brought you into His body. You have joined Him in mission. You are not “throw-away” material.

 

We enter into our part to play, our contribution, through the same means that Christ Jesus did, through service. As we serve with our eyes open to Him, God will lead us into the good work created in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

There is an oft maligned context for our service too, the church. In the context of the church’s life (hear relationships to each other), testimony, worship and work we each have a contribution to make. And we are indispensable. The blessings that God would pour out on others through the church exponentially increased as each member, no matter how “great” or “small,” mature in Him, realize their need for the other, and serve.

 

You are not dispensable. Sometimes we might be tempted into thinking, “Oh the Church doesn’t really need me.” That would be a misappropriation of the idea that “we are not indispensable.” Today we can enter into what God is doing in the world by consciously serving with His church scattered across our communities and cities.

You are not indispensable.

16And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.  19So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.    John 5:16-19

 

In University I got sick- mono! I remember feeling really terrible about it because of how I was letting people down. My campus minister, Ron Little, tried to give me some perspective but it wasn’t working. So he said, “Craig, go home, put your thumb in a bucket of water and if it leaves a hole in the water, come back and tell me.” Humbling. Yet even then, it took me a while to comprehend what Ron was telling me!

 

Sometimes we can have an over-blown sense of just how much everybody else needs us. We believe we are indispensable. Its a problem for leaders because it cuts two ways: this attitude will ruin us and it will ruin the people we serve. Its the death of humility. Its the death of delegation and genuine empowerment.

 

Jesus is extraordinarily necessary for our salvation. And yet, he maintained humility, and the capacity to empower others. He knew who He was because He knew His Heavenly Father. And of His Heavenly Father, Jesus says, “He is always working!” and “I’m only doing what I see my Heavenly Father doing.”

 

For mission and for life its essential for us to remember: before you and I showed up on the scene God was working. If we begin to believe that its all up to us and that we are God’s answer for humanity’s brokenness, our mission can become our idol. We will  become a distraction with our sense of heroics, pointing people to us rather than to Jesus. We will become disappointed, angry, and bitter.  Jesus is familiar with the our problem, but it was not His problem. Jesus only saw His work through the lens of His Heavenly Father.

 

The remedy for our overblown sense of requirement is to look again to Jesus and tell  Him, “I’m available today to be a part of what you are doing.”