Jean Vanier wrote, “Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12, compares the human body to the body of Christ, and he says that those parts of the body that are the weakest and least presentable are indispensable to the body. In other words, people who are the weakest and least presentable are indispensable to the church. I have never seen this as the first line of a book on ecclesiology.” (Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier, Living Gently in a Violent World. Downers Grove: IVP Books, page 74).

I’ve never seen this as the first line of a book on ecclesiology, either. And this page of The Basin and Towel isn’t exactly a book, either, but Vanier’s comment / challenge is the theme of the Indispensable Churches category here. But I want to take his comment a step farther and say that these posts (color coded in green) are intended to be reflections on congregations as members of the body of Christ that we call the church, not so much on individual persons who are part of the body of Christ. I have this suspicion that in our super-sized, mega-ministried American church scene we tend to see individual congregations as competitors rather than members of the same body of.Christ. There are some difficulties in this view, as I propose to show in these postings.

And who knows? Maybe some day that book that Vanier suggested will become a reality.

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