Morning Musings: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

It takes a lot to make the church work.  There are all kinds of different roles that need to be filled.  Some of them are out front and flashy.  Some of them are entirely behind the scenes and go completely overlooked…unless they’re not being done.

The challenge this presents the church is that we tend to assign value based on external factors only.  If something is visible, we count it as more valuable than something that is invisible.  If something draws our eyes because of its prominence, we count it as more valuable than something which is not as eye-catching. 

The result of this is that certain duties in the church are more highly celebrated than others.  For the folks who are gifted to fill these roles (which tend to include preaching, teaching, leading singing, or otherwise being on stage for some reason), this works out pretty well.  For folks who are otherwise gifted, however, it is easy for them to begin to doubt the worthwhileness of their contribution.  It is easy to begin thinking that the church would work fine without their contribution.  It is easy to begin to wish that they had gifts which corresponded to some of the more visible roles in the church.

And yet, every role in the church is necessary.  As Paul writes here, there are many different gifts and roles, but they all come from and are empowered by the same Lord.  And if the Lord empowers them it is for a reason.  Namely, to see the body built up and strengthened so that it can accomplish the mission He has set before it as effectively as possible.

If you are in the church, it is because God has called you there to have an impact.  No matter where in the context of that organization your impact is designed to be, the church won’t work as well without your making it.  In fact, sometimes the most behind-the-scenes roles are actually the most important.  Case in point: People will attend a church without a preacher for quite a while if one is being actively sought.  People will not, however, attend a church for very long if the toilets are not being cleaned regularly and thoroughly.  God designed you with a part to play in the church.  And the church works best when every part plays its part.

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