The previous post on this topic ended with these questions:
- Why do you attend the Church that you attend?
- How far do you have to travel to get to your church’s building?
- How is your commitment to that Church family (do you fellowship with others besides being in the building for an hour and a half on Sunday?)?
Today I would like to explore a truer reason to be committed to your local Church family: that of service to the body.
He gave gifts to men
Being forgetful, fallen creatures, we tend to neglect the things that God has reaffirmed time and again in Scripture. One of these is the Holy Spirit. This “thing” is actually a person– the third member of the triune God-head and many of us probably forget Him at one point or another (see Chan’s book on this).
One of His many functions is to give the individual members of Christ’s Church gifts that are to be used for building up the body and glorifying God. Ephesians 4.11-16 says,
And he (Jesus) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and from by the waves and carried about by every wind and doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the whole body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Emphasis mine)
Clearly the Elders, pastors, and teachers of the Church exist in order to train others in godliness; that is an important part of their function. But this doesn’t just mean godly teaching once a week. No, these leaders are meant to aid others in the Church in finding their Spiritual gifts and being able to minister to the community as a whole. This requires us to be actively involved in our Church families pursuing righteousness and lives of service in light of what Jesus has done for us at the cross, grave, resurrection, ascension, and at Pentecost when He gave gifts to men.
What about you?
So what are your gifts? How can you be used in the Church? Maybe you have tried to be used, but can’t seem to find a good fit. Can you talk with your elders about where you fit? Do your leaders even know you enough to help you in this area? Could you make it a point to allow them to get to know you better?
Christ gave His all so that we could invest in His Church for His Kingdom and His glory. How will this work in your life?