We Are A Symphony
Big Idea: The primary purpose of a local church can be simply illustrated by the work of an orchestra. The church of Jesus Christ can be compared to an orchestra—each player has a specific purpose.
Text: Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
Luke 5:36 And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
Acts 15:15 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written.
Sumphoneo – to agree; to sound together; to be in harmony.
Introduction: There are many good metaphors to use that describe the work of the church. The church is compared to:
• a bride getting ready for our groom, Jesus;
• a family whose father is God;
• a body where every part contributes to the usefulness of the whole;
• a temple where each piece of furniture is holy and points to the awesomeness of God;
• or an army, fully equipped and ready to fight and defeat our spiritual enemies
Lessons we can learn about how a church should function from a symphony orchestra:
• Think of the orchestra as the church and the audience as the world who’s watching and listening to us. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
• The music we play is the music of the Kingdom composed by the Great Composer. Our ultimate objective is to attract the world to listen to our music and reflect the Composer’s heart. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
• The conductor’s (lead pastor’s) job is to help each musician play his own part in harmony with the whole. And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.
• Every believer is gifted in some way, just as every member of the orchestra has his or her own instrument to play. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
• Every believer’s contribution is essential to the full sound of the orchestra. But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body.
• Every believer is most effective on his own instrument. The clarinet player should not be telling the trombone how to play. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.
• There is a whole range of instruments, all created to give a different sound and complement one another. If service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
• The sad fact is, we are weak humans with broken souls; even though we are maturing, there will always be some dysfunction among us. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
• There will always be squeaks and squawks, but mature members should encourage and teach weaker ones. And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
• Every believer should work at playing in tempo, volume and harmony with the whole orchestra. So that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
• When we play our instruments in harmony, the power inherent in the music does its mystical work. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
• The times our band marched in city parades, remind me of how the church has to walk in perfect order. We each must know our place and keep in step with the leader. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner
• Harmonious music is to be played with a target audience in mind. Some people love country and western, some classical, some rock and roll and some even like bagpipes. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.
• Musicians are sovereignly placed in their positions and gifted by Father God. But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
Here are a few more similarities between orchestras and churches:
• The music of heaven is issued and sounds forth from the wind of the Holy Spirit.
• Musicians are every believer in the church.
• The conductor is the lead pastor. He might not even play an instrument, but keeps the orchestra playing in time and harmony.
• The section leaders (woodwinds, strings, etc.) are the department leaders (children, youth, etc.)
• The instruments are the variety of spiritual gifts given by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• The music is the harmonious plan of God’s Kingdom that will play through eternity.
• Exceptional musicians learn their instruments through discipline and practice.
• There are no superstars—we each need one another.
• Church gatherings are rehearsal times. The music begins when we leave the church building.
• When we are living in our neighbourhoods, going to school and work, and socializing, we are each soloing on our instrument before the audience in our circle of influence.
• Fulfillment comes to each musician as we play in harmony with the whole orchestra. When the church is doing its job, everybody applauds (except the devil—he hates good music!)
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