How well do you know your body?

by Matt Rich
Posted on 1st May 2006

Everyone can't go but everyone can be a crucial part of the team!

Having lived abroad as a missionary I have experienced first hand some of the joys and feelings of sadness that missionaries face. Sometimes life is exciting, satisfying and exhilarating - other times it is hard, lonely and frustrating. You are there in another land, living in a different culture to your own, doing the work that the Lord has called you to BUT you can't do it alone - you are just one member of a body. A body that might have it members separated by 1000s of miles of land and sea but a body that needs it's members to work together to be effective.

1 Cor 12v17-19 "If the whole body were an eye where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing where would the smelling be? But now God has set the members each one of them in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member where would the body be?"

"God does not want us all to be the same but He does want us to work together as one body."

God does not want us all to be the same but He does want us to work together as one body. God might call you to be a missionary or He might not, but what He does want is for you to play your part within the team. God chose to use the illustration of the body because it is something we all know so well and therefore we should all get the point more easily!

It would be a very odd body if one arm was completely unaware that the other arm existed. It would be very strange if a body was trying to climb a ladder but the legs were not at all interested in playing their part in the team.

Sadly this strange picture of the body is so often the way many Christians at home treat missionaries overseas. I don't think that it is deliberate but I think that people have forgotten that they are all a part of the same body, that they are working in the same team. Any athlete will tell you that for one part of the body to be it's most effective the other parts of the body need to be doing just the right thing as well - and so it is with missionaries.

If we want those doing the missionary work to be their most effective then the Lord wants us, who are the other parts of the body, to be doing our part to support them in what they are doing. Some may need to send letters of encouragement, some may need to give, others need to pray.

Praying for missionaries is not a luxury attachment that is great to have but not really essential. Praying for missionaries is a very necessary part of the body's work.

Have you ever noticed that it is easier to pray for a friend who you are concerned for than a stranger you don't know? The friend pops into your mind as you progress through the day because you know them and care about them. If you feel distant, and I don't mean geographically, from those working as missionaries then do something about it. Learn about a few of them, read the prayer and news letters they have written in the past, write to them. It is far easier to pray for a member of your body that you care for and are interested in, then it doesn't become a chore or hard work to pray because it comes out of a genuine interest and a concern for their well being and the work they are doing.

Please get to know your body, understand what it is doing and play your part to make it more effective.

Matt Rich has been working as an Internet evangelist for 17 years and is the Founder and CEO of This year is his "silver anniversary" since starting life as a missionary, having worked in Fiji, Cumbria in the UK and now online all over the world.