Interdependent Relationships in the Body of Christ
In Mark 9:38-40 NLT, John the disciple said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t one of our group.” “Don’t stop him! Jesus said. “No one who performs miracles in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.”
Many times the work of the Gospel is hindered when we are unable to work with others because they are not “One of our group.” Indeed there are many who are not against us, but for us, as we labor together for the same cause – Advancing The Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the Nations. Our methods and mission fields may be different. But our Master is the same, and the Great Commission our all-encompassing mandate: – “Therefore go and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
In 1Cor 12:4, 5&12 NIV, Paul teaches, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. Different kinds of service, but the same Lord. Different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, they form one body.” In this exhortation he goes on to ask if, like in the human body, the whole body were an eye, where then would the hearing be, and, “If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?”. Just as the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” or the head to the feet, in the same way we cannot say to one another, “We don’t need you!” We are all partners in the same cause; in order for the work of the Kingdom to be complete, each must play their part and we must work together.
No one has everything. Paul rhetorically asks, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?” That is why we must partner with other sincere Jesus loving, Bible based, Kingdom advancing; Churches, Para church ministries, groups and individuals. For the kingdom to advance it will need all the different gifts that Christ has given to His Church. No one has them all!
Mt 9: 26-38; when Jesus saw the crowds, He was concerned, and asked that we pray for The Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into the harvest field. The Lord is the Lord of the harvest, and He sends out laborers into His harvest as He sees fit. He sends who He wills to where He wills, but it is all His Harvest. He prayed that we would be one (Jn 17:21) to the end that the world would believe that The Father sent Jesus, and it therefore follows that as we labor in the harvest, we should carry out our different assignments with the unity of interdependence.
In the scriptures we see Paul, an apostle to the Gentiles, exercising interdependence with Peter who largely ministered among the Jews: We see Paul and Apollos, where one sowed the seed and the other one watered, or laid the foundation and the other built, but God gave the growth.
Coming closer home, we as Navigators have opportunities to labor side by side with other brothers and sisters in the faith. In the early days of the Navigators, Billy Graham asked the Navigators to help with follow up during & after his crusades. At the international level, Navigators partner with the Lausanne movement for world evangelization. Our Focus ministry also seeks to partner with other laborers called to the same field.
We also labor together with local congregations through the Church Discipleship Ministry. Many Navigator laborers have been involved in their churches as elders, teachers, preachers and many other roles. We have partnered with others in the task of evangelism such as in the recent Global Outreach Day. In the prayer ministry, many of us have benefited from the ministries of The Kenya House of Prayer, Harvest school of prayer, and others.
All of these partnerships, and many others in the body of Christ, contribute, as do streamlets and tributaries, joining together to form one big river, to the advancing of the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom, with The Lord as the Director and Overseer.
-Beulah & Joseph Mucharie