About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Balancing Organization With Relationships In Church


1 Corinthians 12:13 reads:


"For we were all baptized [immersed] by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."


What Paul wrote in the above and the following verses describes the church consisting of individual believers whose lives have been immersed into supportive and functional relationships.  Such relationships form the foundation of church.      


Ephesians 4:11 through 13 reads:


"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."


In the above passage Paul wrote about the organizational structure of church.  Leadership ministries have been established by Jesus to equip the individual believer so he can be an effective worker in the service of the Lord, which in turn, causes the community of believers to be the mature church it is meant to be.  It's each individual believer, not just the leadership ministries, that do the work of the Lord.   


Both personal relationships and the structural organization are basic to church.  I understand the New Testament to teach that the organizational structure of church is born out of personal and supportive relationships.  Maintaining a proper Biblical balance between these two foundational principles of church has been a problem throughout the history of the church. Either the church is too relational at the expense of being organizational, or, it's too organizational at the expense of being relational.  If we can recognize any imbalance in this aspect of church, we should be able to rectify this imbalance and bring these two foundational principles into proper Biblical balance.   


In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit entered the lives of one hundred and twenty believers which united each believer, not just to Jesus, but to the remaining one hundred and nineteen believers.  This immersion into the lives of each other is what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that I quoted above.  Once this union of believers took place in Acts 2, structure was added to the newly born church.


Balancing the relational and organizational aspects of church is necessary for church to be effective and productive.  First comes the supportive relationships that provide the Biblical-based manpower for the organizational structure.  Once the structure is in place, personal relationships must be nurtured and maintained if church is ever to be what Jesus intended it to be.         



Home Page