There have been several words and phrases that have entered our every day conversation. One of these is, “essential personnel.” A few Sundays ago, as we were preparing for our livestream setup, we were concerned if we would exceed the 10 person limit in our skeleton crew. We had a conversation about not having to count the “essential personnel,” who needed to be there. Someone mentioned the preacher as being “essential personnel,” along with the elders, and worship leaders. Then it dawned on us. There is no such thing as “essential personnel” in the church, if by that you mean some personnel, but not others.
I am reminded of this passage in 1 Corinthians 12 that deals with this idea using a human body as an analogy for the church. Here are some highlights:
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. … But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. …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.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, … God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
The body of Christ is different than the world. Our value does not come from the manner in which we may useful, but from being created in the image of God and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ our Lord. At great cost, God redeemed each of us and placed each of us into the body of Christ, which is entirely precious to God. There is no such thing as nonessential personnel in the body of Christ.
I prefer to say, “skeleton crew.” A skeleton needs the rest of the body. This is what I have been painfully aware of in the last several weeks. The skeleton conducting the livestream have said how hard it is to be encouraged in the way we would like because we are not all actually together. Those who have been watching from home have also expressed the same sentiment.
You are all important to God, and you are important to the rest of the body. When all of this passes, hang on to the renewed appreciation you have for the body and come back with a renewed energy for being connected. Outdo one another in showing honor and value. Hug each other. Appreciate each other. Be together. Thank you, Lord, in advance, we know that all of us will ultimately be together with you.