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Introduction (Part 2 of 7): What do Mike Wazowski and Senior Pastors have in common?

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

Welcome back. I’m honored that you came back for more.

Today we are focusing on 1 Corinthians 12:15-20. I’m going to be honest; there are times where I believe the Apostle Paul was paid by the word like the myth about Charles Dickens. Probably not. Probably just writes like he speaks since a dude fell asleep and dropped three stories out of a window to his death as Paul “talked on and on” (Acts 20:9). Nonetheless, I admit that sometimes I believe Paul is unnecessarily redundant but, in this case, I believe he was strategically redundant taking on the issue of diversity and dependency from different perspectives. Therefore, I’m going to take it slowly as we learn from this passage.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:15)

Paul’s illustration of the church–the collective name for all followers of Jesus everywhere–is that of a human body. Like a body, the church is one and the church has many diverse members who serve a variety of functions. In fact, it requires it. We need each other. We are interdependent. And it is true however you slice up the church. (Public service announcement: this is where the metaphor breaks down. Do not start slicing up your or anyone else’s body.) This is true of the overall big-C church as well as any local church. It is true of teams and sub-teams within the church and within the big-C church–meaning any team in any environment, religious or otherwise, in which any Christ-follower is a part (including marriage as in Ephesians 5). Each individual and each team are designed with specific gifts and skills to benefit all followers of Jesus. It speaks to the concept of design and reflects the characteristics of the designer. Jesus rescued us from destruction to join us together as one. With that perspective, let’s continue with the scripture.

And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? (1 Corinthians 12:16-19)

When I read this passage, I can’t help but think about this guy from Monsters, Inc.

I can imagine the artists at Pixar wanted to make Mike Wazowski a giant, walking, talking eyeball. As silly as this is, they couldn’t even do it without giving him two feet, two T-rex arms and two tiny little ears. That is the silly picture that Paul is trying to give here when we all want to define our own purpose or independent existence. Perhaps Paul had been asked about why some had more outwardly desirable gifts and others less desirable. Paul effectively pictures this as absurd. He illustrates the importance of team. Teams require diverse team members working for the common good. One just can’t simply walk away from their purpose or the body will suffer. Missing a part is rarely good for the body. It is important to note that with some illnesses, cancer included, the body would be better served by eliminating the part that is attacking it from the inside out. We’ll take this on in a future article. 1 Corinthians 5 addresses this with regard to excommunication of people who are not healthy for the body. That said, most of the time, the body will function its best by design when all its parts are healthy and functioning. The church is not a club that can be joined and/or quit. It is a family that we are grafted into and is permanent. We all must be continually exploring and discovering who God made us to be and how that can be useful to the church. Note Paul’s words “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”

My Senior Pastor and I were talking yesterday about some of my friends in similar positions in other churches. He said, “Executive Pastors can have this kind of mutually beneficial relationship. Senior Pastors have a hard time doing this. We don’t seem to play well with others.” That is because Executive Pastors are way more diverse than Senior Pastors. We come from many different backgrounds. Senior Pastors tend to be “one single body part.” I will leave it up to you to decide which body part they are.

Get it? Mike Wazowski and Senior Pastors are are all one body part? See what I did there?

As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:20)

Paul concludes this point by again reminding us that we are one body. How many people have left churches or church teams or frankly companies because they were frustrated with their role? Since I left a corporate role to go into ministry at a church, I’m often asked “How can I know which of these opportunities in front of me is what God is calling me to?” My most frequent answer is that if God is calling you somewhere, it will be very clear. God was very clear with people like Abraham, Noah, David, Jonah, Paul, etc. So if it is not clear, God may simply want you to be exactly where you are. Or, God, like the Good Father he is, wants whatever you want. God is way more interested in “why” we do what we do than “what” we do most of the time. A lot of times, we should take this passage to heart and believe that God placed them (and us), every one of them, just as he wanted them to be?

Full disclosure; there are many very healthy and even Godly reasons why people leave churches and teams. Some are definitely even called to new places. That said, let’s not be afraid to ask tough questions:

  • How many people have left organizations to plant a church because they feel they are called to teach? What if they are wrong?

  • How many leaders have left teams because they have a problem following?

  • How many team-members leave because they disagree with decisions being made “at the top”? What if they are wrong and could see that if they saw it with a different perspective?

  • How many people have been “called away” to another opportunity? Usually, in my experience, they seem to be called away for “larger” responsibilities and larger salaries. What if they are wrong and God wanted them exactly where they were for any number of reasons?

Tomorrow, we’ll continue to explore this metaphor from another perspective.

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Chris Mester
Chris Mester
Jan 05, 2022

Thank you for this!


"The church is not a club that can be joined and/or quit. It is a family that we are grafted into and is permanent." Yes and Amen.


This is so good 💕Thank you for stepping into this for us.

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