The Bible likens the Church to a Body showing the interdependence of its parts necessary for proper and effective functioning (1 Cor. 12). Without communication, the left foot might head in one direction while the right foot turns the opposite way. One hand could carefully pick up something while the other hand pushes it out. Without a coordination of the parts, we would flounder. One action could counteract the other. Communication provides the needed coordination for the Body. Hence, we must find communication imperative to following God’s design for Body Life in His Church.
Communication from the Head Imperative
As with the human body, the Church receives directives from the Head who is Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 1:18). When we learn to first talk with the Lord and listen to Him, we’re able to properly communicate with one another. We can set quarreling aside, no longer needing to debate about who is right. Rather we speak in love to edify and honor one another, as together we seek to figure out what God deems right. Such conversation that stems from communication with the Head leads to the growth of the Body.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:15-16)
Communication Imperative among Members of the Body
As previously stated, God designed the Body to function interdependently. That such interdependence requires intentional communication becomes obvious when we examine commands about how to relate with each other. So many of the “one another commands” of Scripture won’t happen without communication.
Admonish one another (Col. 3:16)
Build up one another (Rom. 14:19)
Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18)
Confess faults to one another (James 5:16)
Encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11)
Fellowship with one another (1 Jn. 1:7)
Greet one another (Rom. 16:16)
Be Honest with one another (Col. 3:9)
Be Hospitable to one another (1 Pet. 4:9)
Pray for one another (James 5:16)
Spur one another on (Heb. 10:24)
Even many of the more action-oriented “one another commands” need communication with each other to be most effective in their expression.
Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2) – Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25) – Serve one another (Gal. 5:13)
We might observe or guess what people struggle with, but communication will help us identify and meet needs quicker and more accurately.
Bear with one another (Eph. 4:2) – Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32)
We can forgive each other in our hearts but sometimes the words “I forgive you” are needed to reconcile relationships.
Be Kind to one another (Eph. 4:32)
We can do kind deeds for each other but kindness is also expressed in our words.
Proper communication makes it easier to live out these “one another commands” which too often alludes the Church:
Be of the Same Mind with one another (Rom. 15:5)
Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
As members of one another (Rom. 12:5), we accept (Rom. 15:7), honor and express devotion to one another (Rom. 12:10). Communication has to be a part of that process. Yet, as we will see in the next post, it must be communication guided by Body life principles and commands.