The Family Table, The Place We All Belong: Better Together

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The Family Table: The Place We All Belong

Better Together

This page is part of a larger series titled The Family Table: The Place We All Belong, a sermon series on the 10 dimensions of belonging.  To see the full list of topics, visit the Belonging Sermon Series page.

This sermon can be preached on its own or as part of the full series on belonging.



The dimension of belonging for this sermon: Needed.

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Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Supplemental Scriptures: Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 4:13

Key Idea: One body; many parts.

The body of Christ is made up of many parts; all unique, all needed for the body of Christ to be complete. People of all abilities are co-laborers in Christ. We are better together.

Dimension of Belonging: Needed.

The church doesn’t see me only as a focus of ministry, that designated recipient of support, but sees me as someone who has gifts and talents and support to give to others.  Reciprocity in ministry.

What do these Scripture passages say?

The Body of Christ is one body but many parts.  It is God who arranges the parts.  All are needed.  We cannot say to one another, “I have no need for you.”  Greater honor is due to those who “seem” to be weaker.  They are indispensable.

So what? Why is this important?

Does God (or God’s people) accept me only if I’m healed?

What happens when we apply this passage to members of the body experiencing disability?

So…do we operate in our churches as if we NEED every body?

  • As if all are “indispensable”?
  • As if all are to be treated with greater honor?
  • What would that look like if we did?
    • What would our leadership look like?
    • What would our facilities look like?
    • How would our fellowship need to change?

Active rather than passive participation.  We NEED people with varied abilities to read Scriptures because we hear it differently from their lips rather than from the pastor’s.  We NEED people with disabilities to help us remember that the Body of Christ is not about flawless performance or fake perceptions of perfection; rather, we are a community who are called to bear one another’s burdens, both seen and unseen.

Now What? What must I/we do now?

Look for opportunities for people with disabilities to use their gifts in the congregation.

Encourage people with disabilities to be in leadership roles.

Be Co-laborers in Christ.  Not ministry to, but ministry with.

Reflection Tool

Overview of  the 5 Stages: Changing Attitudes (


Story of Christine Barreto and Debbie Abbs—InterVarsity Access: InterVarsity Access video-Connecting Disability with God’s Mission

Story options

  • One from your congregation in which people with varied abilities serve alongside one another. Think about stories from people with visible and hidden disabilities and mental health challenges.
  • A story from Barbara Newman’s Body Building: Devotions Celebrating Inclusive Community, such as the story about Melissa and Michele (pg. 57).

Dive more deeply into this topic using the Study Guide found on the landing page!