I went to the movie theatre a couple of weeks ago to see a much raved about blockbuster, and not long into the movie I was suddenly struck by how much the Church is like The Avengers. To clarify:
I don’t mean that Joe is like Tony Stark - donning his Iron Man suit and flying about the sanctuary, or that the coffee volunteers wear skin tight PVC suits and do back flips and cartwheels while putting out the cookies and lemonade.
The Avengers are a rag tag group of individuals, each with a (admittedly pretty impressive) unique skill set, who come together to form a cohesive unit.
The theme throughout the movie was it’s better to work together. Without Bruce Banner turning a particularly vile shade of puke-green and becoming the Hulk, the team would not have been able to defeat Ultron. If the mighty Thor had not offered to use his strength (and his hammer), the group would have faced defeat. Hawkeye’s bow and arrows, Captain America’s trusty shield ... all those powerful Super Heroes ... all undoubtably capable of doing so much alone. But put them together and they create an unequaled unstoppable force.
And what about us?
The Church is not a building where people gather.
We don’t just ‘go to church,'
We ARE the Church.
We may not be Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America or Hawkeye.
But we are the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher.
We each have a unique gifting or calling. But, more than this, we ALL have a calling to be in community - the community which is the church. Some may participate in the worship band, or help with the sound, or with children and youth ministry. Some may make sandwiches and minister to the needy in Fairfax and DC, some may be on altar guild or lead bible studies or be in prayer ministry. Some open up their homes and lives to those in need.
And what one person does today, God may call and enable another to do tomorrow.
Look again at the vision statement.
Church of the Apostles glorifies God by celebrating the healing power of the Holy Spirit through prayer, praise and worship that overflows into community, living the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior.
As we continue to keep our hearts open to how God wants to use us individually and corporately to grow his church through the Destined for Joy campaign, we can also think about the future Church of the Apostles. One filled with God’s Avengers, ready to do HIS will in the community.
For church to work as God intends it to work, we all need to be ready to do our part.
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12: 19 & 20)