Posted by: TLC Fellowship | August 18, 2013

Giving Up the Bumper Car Mentality

By Pastor Cottrell King, Assistant Pastor at TLC Fellowship

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.  ~ 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (TNIV)

While growing up, I always enjoyed going to seasonal carnivals and fairs that would come to my hometown during the year. One of the rides that fascinated me most was the bumper cars. I would always make my way to the bumper car arena. The mentality in the bumper car arena was to keep others from getting to their desired destination. In the bumper car arena, there was no teamwork or unity because each bumper car driver operated on his/her own without the help of others. It was through individual performance, that each participant in this arena was considered being successful.

In this text, Paul finds that the church at Corinth was guilty of having the “bumper car mentality” because no one wanted to work together, and everybody thought their gift was more important than that of others. Instead of working together, they blocked each other and wanted to work individually. In the church at Corinth, there were too many individuals doing there their own thing. On the other hand, there were also cliques working to block others. The church had become so political that instead of bringing people in, they were blocking people out.

Even in the church today, we find the bumper car mentality is still very much in existence. There are too many blockers and individual performers stunting the growth of God’s kingdom-building. Paul reminds us that we are of one body and one spirit, which is Christ. No one body can operate to its fullest capacity by the separation of individual parts. When parts do not operate together—on one accord, a break down occurs and things do not function properly within the body.

We, the church, can be much more effective by working together and acknowledging the importance of each gift in the building of God’s kingdom. It is time for us to put the “bumper car mentality” to rest and be about the ministry of God. We want to be the church that brings God’s children in—not block them out. Let us be the church of inclusion and not exclusion; we should build up and not break down.

Prayer: God we give you thanks for creating us equal with different gifts to complete the body of Christ. We pray that we will use our gifts to meet the needs of building your kingdom. Teach us to respect the gifts of our brothers and sisters to be one body and one spirit. Bless us as we work together for the common good for all of your children. Amen!

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