May 15, 2022In Sermons
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ

In this sermon, Joshua Mlay highlights the difference between “Doing Church” and “Being the Church”. More importantly, he stresses that believers ought to have the right understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. Should we fail to grasp this important concept, we will be unable to act as witnesses of Jesus Christ and our Kingdom Impact will be diminished. 

In order to fully appreciate what it means to be the church, it is firstly important to shed light on the 4 key misrepresentations that many Christians have with being a part of the body.  According to Pastor Tom Nelson, (an acclaimed American pastor), Christians often use the church for one of the 4 following purposes.

  1. As a Petrol Station where we go to fill up our spiritual tanks 
  2. As a Movie Theater where we go for great entertainment
  3. As a Pharmacy where we can get medication to deal with pain
  4. As a Shopping Mall or a one stop shop where we can get everything we need for our families

While it is not entirely wrong to seek shelter in the church when we need to be filled with the scripture, comforted, recover from spiritual ailments and for restoration, our mandate as believers extends beyond this. Christians have a great commission. Church is not something to do but something to be. As believers, our mandate entails functioning as Jesus’ body by:

  1. Being His eyes and identifying the unseen 
  2. Being His mouth by spreading the word and speaking words of wisdom
  3. Being His hands by serving the least and the lost
  4. Being His feet by spreading the good news to places the Kingdom has not yet reached

This sentiment is strongly echoed in the Book of Ephesians 4:4-13 when it says: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called…. until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”

As illustrated in the passage and by Joshua Mlay, there are two main takeaways that Christians ought to understand in being a part of the church.

  • Everyone has a vital role to play

One of God’s desires is for us to use our uniqueness to serve the body.  When we deploy our abilities, the church grows. The work of building the church cannot be done by one person. It is a collective effort and collaboration is needed to fulfil this mandate. 


The best way to begin to discover these talents is by serving.  This will set us on the path of discovery as we will slowly uncover the talents that God has given each and every one of us. It is only once we engage in service that we will uncover the grace that has been given to us for the service of the body.


  1.  Our leaders have a foundational role to play

God has anointed the leaders in our church. However, no matter how talented or wise a pastor or leader may be, there’s no way they can do all that needs to be done on their own.  Their role is to serve and equip congregants to carry out ministry work. It is through this mutually beneficial exchange of ministering, serving, equipping, and engaging in ministry by the believers that the work of the Lord can be done. 

Take a moment to reflect and imagine what could be done if all members of the church saw themselves as part of a community that is actively involved in the work of the Lord. How would the church be different from what it is today? How far reaching would our impact be? The church in its present state exists because of Jesus deliberate effort in serving, connecting, dying on the cross and rising again to rebuild the church and in so doing, creating the community that we all need. In this same light, God has endowed us with unique talents that enable us to be a part of the body and carry His light to a world that is trapped in darkness.

The Church is a Community where you are equipped to help fulfil God’s purpose for the world.