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One for All – All for One

Eric Zander

The musketeers’ watchword is so close to the vision of the church, well, to two rather different visions… The first reflects the distortion of the ecclesiastical institution that puts the clergy at the centre: a priest, a pastor, to serve all the faithful, and all the faithful following (and perhaps financing) a leader. It’s a consumer church, like a restaurant where you come to ‘be fed’ by a professional who does it all, who prepares it all, who looks after everything, who has everything in hand.

The second underlines Paul’s superb image: Jesus, Who alone is Saviour for us all (Rom. 5 v.15-17), to make of us one body, the church, where we all serve, each taking his part (Rom. 12 v.5), one Lord, Christ, Head of the Church, His Body (Eph. 5 v.23). It’s a church of participation, from the kitchen workshop where each brings his own contribution to ‘feed the others’, each according to that which he has received of the Lord for the common good (1 Cor. 12 v.7).

And the expression ‘one another’ appears more than 50 times as though to reveal as many facets of reciprocity among the disciples of Jesus brought together in His Body, to love each other, to encourage each other, exhort each other, correct each other, confess to each other, submit to each other… And what of the leaders then? They also are members of the body, but at the service of others to train, to facilitate, to coordinate, to supervise, to motivate everyone to play their part. These are the Christian Communities that we want to see developing, Communities of disciples of Jesus committed to the service of others, all flourishing in the role given them by God.

But finally, we are all participating in God’s work in this world and in the church; we may plant and another may water, but it is God who makes it grow. We are fellow-workers in His field (I Cor. 3 v.5-9). And VIANOVA is only one of the contributors who participate in God’s mission in our country. Each of our partners in Belgium and abroad, each donor, missionary or volunteer, Community leader, or one of the faithful, each of our ministries, churches, café, Bible-expo, groups of bikers, children, or seniors, each is carrying out the particular task that God has given them. Together, all for One.


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