Have you ever held a newborn baby? Have you counted tiny fingers and toes or watched a little chest move up and down, drawing breath for the first time?
That baby may be a bundle of joy for his parents, but, in reality, he’s also a bundle of something else. He’s a bundle of perfectly formed, intricate systems that are already working together to keep him alive.
Thanks to his tiny circulatory system, his heart is pumping blood through his arteries. Thanks to his respiratory system, his lungs are taking in the air. His digestive system is breaking down his mother’s milk from the very first drop, and his muscular system is letting him wrap his tiny hand around his father’s finger. Even in a brand-new baby, these systems and others are fully developed, fully functioning, and ready to grow with the child as he starts his journey toward adulthood.
God is into systems. He organized the universe with systems. He established the measurement of time through a system. He formed the human body as a cohesive unit of systems that caused them to function. They were perfect adult examples of that newborn baby.
Without systems operating under the surface, they would not have been able to walk, talk, or even breathe. They wouldn’t have been able to experience the pleasures of the garden. Eve wouldn’t have been able to pluck the apple from the tree, and Adam wouldn’t’ have been able to take the bit that set God’s redemptive plan in motion.
One more thing about Adam and Eve: What was the blueprint God using in creating them? Himself. As the Bible affirms, God created man in His own image (see Gen. 1:26-27). Don’t miss this: God created beings that function through sytems and said they had been made in His own image.
Paul understood God’s affinity for systems. That’s why, in trying to help readers wrap their minds around how the church should operate, he compared the Body of Christ to the human body:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Rom. 12:4-5, NIV).
Sounds a lot like how God designed the physical body with systems, right? And so it is with the church as it is with the human body. Each system plays an important role. Can the endocrine system say to the nervous system, “Because I am not the nervous system, I am of no use”? Of course not. All the parts of the body–both the church body and the physical body–work together, allowing people to fulfill God’s purposes on this earth. And both of those bodies function best through well-developed systems.
P.S. Join me in Orlando, FL on Wednesday, July 24 through Friday, July 26 for three days of the most practical, proven, real world, nuts-and-bolts training you and your team can attend to help grow your church. I’ll share with you the most impactful lessons and new applications for each of the eight systems of a healthy church
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