bits from bob....

The Church is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

(Note: This article was written as a sequel to Catching the Vision. You may find a helpful perspective by reading that article first.)

This church is like a jigsaw puzzle--500 pieces, all different, each unique, different shapes, colors, patterns--each fitting specifically into some special place in the puzzle. I put together a jigsaw puzzle a few years ago. When I got done, one piece was missing. I kept the puzzle for a few months, and then disassembled it and sold it in a garage sale--for a nickel! (Yes, I told the buyer about the missing piece.) Puzzles without all the pieces are frustrating, and not much fun to look at when you get them together.

Churches without all of the pieces are also frustrating, and not much fun. Such churches are ineffective, unfocused, spastic. Body parts fail to work, big chunks of potential ministry go undone. Why? Selective attendance, selective involvement, selective interests.... Aren't you glad Jesus wasn't selective when he died on the cross? Have you recently considered the blessing of God fashioning, tempering, and placing so many different persons in the body? Each is important. Of that there can be no doubt--Jesus died for all!

Yes, the church is like a jigsaw puzzle. As pieces are added to the puzzle one by one or a few at a time, so is the church formed and developed. As you work on the puzzle, you watch it take shape until the last piece is in pace. What the puzzle will finally look like can only be seen on the box lid until that moment. What the church will finally look like is revealed in the Bible, but the excitement of seeing the church take shape in a local community and local congregation is exhilarating. Right now, the church we will become can be seen only in prospect. We are taking shape, molded by God and His Spirit. What we are seeing is both exciting and magnificent.

My prayer is that God will continue to fashion each local congregation through the leaders and members of the body in the work of shaping the church into what he wants for all of us.

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Last updated January 8, 2002.