Blog from Kristy Engel . . .

The Body

I was able to spend the month of November teaching the youth on Sunday mornings. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I found it challenging! The challenge was in trying to communicate a lesson across multiple ages…but this was a very good lesson for me in learning how to share with a variety of people. I spent the month speaking about gifts within the Body of Christ (the Church) and recognizing that everyone’s gift is important for the Body to function well. We talked about how easy it is to miss seeing everyone’s gift when some are quiet or behind the scenes. I asked them to look around our congregation and begin noticing the folks that might be overshadowed by more visible actions. And, in that noticing, discover how they might honor, acknowledge, and support these quiet members of the Body.

Here’s the scripture we used (The Message version), from 1 Corinthians 12:14-18

… A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-

similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand,

embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said,

“I’m not beautiful like Eye, transparent and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,”

would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all

ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right

where he wanted it.

19-24  But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up

into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are

a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we

have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is

important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head

telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it

works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can

live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body

you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or

lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have

more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer

good digestion to full-bodied hair?


We are in a season of gift-giving, and it seems appropriate to look at the gifts that we have in our own congregation and acknowledge that some gifts we tend to value more than others. Maybe we need to take a moment to look at all the gifts…all the parts of the Body…and thank people for their parts. And if in this time of noticing, we see a gift that is overlooked or under-utilized, now might be the perfect time to embrace this beloved member and make sure that they know they are wanted, loved, and EXPECTED to contribute to the life of the Church!