We used to sing a song as kids that went like this: I may never march in the infantry, Ride in the cavalry, Shoot the artillery, I may never fly o'er the enemy, But I'm in the Lord's army! Yes Sir! We would do the motions and have a good time. The song taught a truth that we are in a battle and we are in the “Lord’s Army.” Even though we sang that we wouldn’t “ride in the cavalry” or “shoot the artillery,” I always pictured myself on the battlefield on a horse and shooting something at the devil and not in a hospital. Maybe I am a Doctor in the Lord’s Army instead of infantry or airman.
Doctors and specialists are numerous. I read recently that there are about one hundred twenty specialties and sub-specialties in medicine today. But for this article, I only want to use three of them as an illustration of doctors in the Lord’s Army.
An obstetrician is a doctor who delivers babies. When a woman first gets pregnant, she goes to an obstetrician and he will monitor her pregnancy and deliver the child. A pediatrician helps with the child during his growing years. My boys would often see a pediatrician until they turned eighteen. After age eighteen, a family doctor or a general practitioner took over and will see them through the rest of their lives. Now they are all doctors, and each is trained to handle any situation, but most of the time they will stick a chosen specialty.
In the Lord’s Army, we have a similar division of labor. My job is to be a Church Starting Strategist. I find church planters and help the through the process of “birthing” a new church. We have others who work as Church Strengtheners/Mobilizers, who help existing churches grow healthy and strong. Then we also have pastors who are with the church on a daily basis. They preach/teach, marry/bury and all the other things involved to keep HIS church healthy.
In other words, my service in God’s church could be compared to an obstetrician. Others serve God’s church as a pediatrician and still others are general practitioners, but we all serve HIS church and serve in the Lord’s Army. Why is that important? Why write an article based on a kids' song?
The other day, I was talking to a group of pastors, telling them about my new role as a Church Starter Strategist. A man asked if church starting was for everybody? He didn’t think starting new churches was as important as strengthening existing churches. Which is more important? Should everybody be a part of a church plant? Should we all just strengthen our existing churches? Is the only role needed a pastor who serves as a family doctor?
Paul writes in I Corinthians 12:14-19 (HCSB), “So the body is not one part, but many. If the foot should say, 'Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,' in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,' in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body." We all need each other. If your place in the body isn’t church planting, pray for the part of the body that is planting. The Corinthians were known for their childish behavior. May that not be said of us.
I love the Peanuts cartoons. As a child I chuckled at many of the cartoon strips I read. A particular one captured my attention and has never let go. Charlie Brown is watching TV and Lucy walks into the room and changes the channel to something she wants to watch. Charlie speaks up and says to Lucy, “Why do you get to watch what you want?" Lucy answers with her one hand going from a spread fingered position into a tight fist. “These five fingers” is her reply. Charlie then looks at his own hand and says to his fingers, “Why can’t you guys get together like that?"
Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one. The world laughs at our divisiveness and it breaks the heart of our heavenly Father. Would the Father look down on Southern Baptists and says, "Why can’t you guys get together like that?"
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