Are you feeling at home in the church you’ve chosen or that it is not quite the right fit? Read this:
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Corinthians 12:12-26 NIV
If classical pew-sitting and leaving the instant the Sunday sermon ends (or watching sermons on TV or the internet) has become your habit, the above passage confirms you’re intended to serve our Master as he builds his kingdom in an active, sometimes untidy body of Jesus’ followers, rather than in a pristine cloister.
You must start or start again somewhere.
If you’re unsure of your giftings, grab an opening, even if it seems an insignificant opportunity. Try joining a team with a variety of roles where you can move around as your faith journey comes alive.
Perhaps you’ve served in your community of faith for a while now. Are you in a role you’ve outgrown, and does God seem to be calling you to wrestle with a new challenge? Or maybe you need to take more responsibility in an area where you already enjoy benefiting others.
Some of you might already be established in ministry, exercising your gifts in confidence, the Spirit affirming that you are effective and necessary in your service. Encourage others around you as they develop their ministries.
Some of us don’t have the same energy or capacity we once had to fully operate in the gifts that connect us in the body of Christ. Maybe it’s time to major in mentoring or to ask God to open new ways of building God’s kingdom we’ve never considered before.
Most of all, don’t play dead if it seems the cost of being part of a body of believers is too great. Building God’s kingdom has always had a cost. Remember Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and the sacrifices of many fellow believers who have paved the way for us now and over the centuries.