Programs Can Divide:
We have classes for different age groups. We have groups based on gender. We have strategies seeking to better serve varying needs or interests. We have teams of people to tend to different types of ministry.
All of this can be good but such programming does tend to fragment the Body.
Programs Must Never Supersede People and the Good of the Whole:
As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” . . . But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Cor. 12:20-27)
All parts of the body are needed. Just as with the human body, so the Body of Christ was designed to be interdependent. You can’t have an arm or a leg working separate from the rest of the body. They must work in cooperation with one another to bring about a greater good.
All parts of the body are important. Failing to have “equal concern for each other” brings division. Children and youth are important, but so are adults. Men are important but so are women. To completely fragment the Body by programs for each group and need, takes away opportunity to learn from one another and grow because of our differences.
All parts of the body are integrated with the whole body. Each person and each ministry within the church belong to one another. A bigger picture exists wherein we are better because of each other and can do more collectively than independently.
Programs Must be Coordinated:
Just as the human body has a central nervous system connected to the brain, so the Body of Christ in all its varying parts and ministries must be coordinated so we are all aiming toward one purpose, united in Christ Jesus who is the Head.
If you are a church leader, you have a critical role in this. Read more: Leadership Skill of Ministry Coordination
I encourage you to take a look at your church: Are there divisions in your Body due to programming? If so, what can you do to keep meeting the needs for which the programs are intended, yet integrate everyone into the whole?