Do you know any drummers? More than likely, if you attend our church, you know one or more percussionists. Two of our three pastors are drummers and there are a number of them associated with the young adult group as well. Have you ever really noticed that each of our limbs play one or more different instruments at the same time, combining different size cymbals and an assortment of drums in order to create a beat and tempo for the band? This is called independent limb coordination and it is the foundation for anyone who seeks to play a drum set.
Would you guess that independent limb coordination is easy to learn or would you imagine that it may be very difficult? When I was growing up, it seemed the majority of what I would do in a day was focused singularly on a certain task. When I wrote on my homework, I was focusing on the tip of my pencil. When I brushed my teeth, I had to focus on each tooth and make sure I wasn’t getting distracted. Could I possibly learn to play something as complex as the drums?
However, if you think of what one must do to get through the day, it actually turns out that we all take part in independent limb coordination for nearly any activity. When I walk up the stairs, my brain has to make extremely precise and complicated calculations in order that I don’t trip and smash my face on the next step. When I drive my car, I might have one foot on the accelerator, the other foot grounded on the floor for balance, one hand on the steering wheel, and the second hand using the windshield wipers, adjusting the radio, or readjusting a bag in the passenger seat that began to topple as I turn a corner. We all must learn independent limb coordination at an extremely young age and as a necessity for daily living in a world pulling us in a million different directions.
In a beautiful illustration, Paul speaks to the church in Corinth about how the Christian community is like a body (1 Corinthians 12). Our assortment of gifts, ministries, and experiences makes us into an incredible variety of human beings, and yet, we are part of one undivided Church. We are as varied as the parts of the human body where one person resembling a hand in the work of God looks nothing like the foot, and yet it’s the Head which gives us our commonalities and our singular mission (Ephesians 4:15). Every single one of us, as components of this whole, must learn independent limb coordination in order to unite and follow Christ well (Ephesians 4:16).
The applications here are numerous. On one hand, it can be more literal in that one congregant may be perfectly suited to teaching in the children’s ministry, while another fits the needs of administration and assisting the Body in handling the church’s finances. It is perfectly acceptable that these two individuals don’t have similar interests per se, and yet they work together to glorify our God in their different tasks.
This can also apply across denominational differences. There are some churches that I would not join because of doctrinal differences. And yet, we know that Christ’s blood purchased us into this singular Body (Romans 12:4-5). If I will feast with them in heaven one day, I must learn independent “limb” coordination and truly value them as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Another application is for cultural differences. I am a young Caucasian male from the modern day American suburbs and, among so many others, I have brothers and sisters within the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador, whom Jim Elliot gave his life to evangelize.
While we don’t currently fellowship, we are undoubtedly in the singular Body of Christ and, when in heaven, I will look to my left and see a Pentecostal preacher from Africa and to my right, I will see a Huaorani tribesman in a loincloth, and all we will understand about one another is that we are all beautifully made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and saved by the blood of Christ alone (Revelation 5:9). We will be beyond over-joyed to worship Him for the remainder of eternity, sharing all things and celebrating the blood of the lamb which was given to reconcile our different people-groups.
You see? The world and our brokenness inherently convinces us that differences between us are unreconcilable and this concept so demeans the sacrifice of Christ as He hung on that cross to make us one (Ephesians 2:14). Three days later, He walked out of the tomb to show that nothing will stop Him in His mission to provide a way of salvation to those who will accept it (Romans 8:11). Do you know that no one is irredeemable (Romans 3:23-24)? Do you know that no person from any nation or community, from any neighborhood or people-group, are irredeemable? This diverse Body is made up of people from all walks of life who look, speak, eat, dance, celebrate, love, mourn, vote, worship, live, and express themselves differently. If we are to take seriously the immensity of Christ’s sacrifice and the call to make disciples of all people, then we must recognize this biblical truth.
Just as the eye cannot claim that it is better than the hand, no part of the Body of Christ can claim to be better than another (Matthew 18:1-4) and this is the secret behind independent limb coordination in Christ’s Body and singular Bride. Praise God for the beauty of His sacrifice and the love that overpowered sin which invited each of us into this beautiful Body of believers.
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff
And please check out the first half of this video where you will see a young boy slaying independent limb coordination (!) as well as a beautiful family singing about this important truth –