“We want to help everyone be in the right seat on the bus.”
“We may have to reshuffle seats on the bus.”
“There’s just not a seat on the bus for you.”
These are the phrases I’ve heard ... I’m sure there are others.
It’s not that a bus is a bad metaphor. It’s just that the Scriptures never mention a transportation device as the best way to look at and assess how we fit together.
Scripture speaks of a body.
A body fits together. A body is interconnected. The parts of a body have no choice but to rely on the other parts. Bus seats are disconnected. Bus seats are isolated and in their own space. Bus seats can be removed and tossed aside without much effect to the rest of the bus.
I think church leaders like using the bus metaphor because it makes it easier to make changes when necessary and needed, especially the hard changes that may damage friendships and relationships. Instead, I would push us to lean into the words of scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit’s work in our discipleship and the discipleship of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:2-5).
Four ways to promote the Body of Christ imagery on your team:
- Talk about it. Use a series of staff meetings to study the body of Christ, its implications for the staff team, and its implications for each ministry’s team.
- Take your staff through leadership and personality assessment that highlights how God has created each of them, how he wants to use them for the Kingdom, and how they best fit the local body.
- Lead by example, practice vulnerability and transparency. Because we are connected as the body of Christ and because we are brothers and sisters and because we are commanded to lean on each other and hold each other up in times of need, we have to be better about demonstrating what keeps us connected.
- Stop talking about a bus! Seriously, just quit.