Do you know that you have a part to play in God’s Kingdom? Yes, each Christian has a role to play in a local Body of Christ and the larger community of believers. Guess what? It’s going to vary depending on what God has placed in our heart to do. Your local church community can help you in that endeavor. However, there is something you should know. They have a God given calling, too.
Of course, they’d love for you to help them, in what God has called them. It works both ways! I’d like to share some thoughts that may help you in what God has put in your heart and seeing how you can be a blessing to others.
Before I dive in, it would be best to start with a few key Scriptures. For starter, here’s what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, and it’s not limited to evangelism. Here’s what 1 Corinthians 3:9 says:
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.1 Corinthians 3:9 NASB
Yes, it is true that we are saved by grace, and we can do nothing to earn our rescue from the consequences of our sins. It’s our sins that is dragging our butts to Hell, not God. Jesus came to set us free from our sins. Yet, we are not called to sit on a wooden bench or a comfortable chair in church singing worship song.
Each person has a part to play in the Body of Christ. If you don’t already know, the church is not a building; rather it is a community of believers that are committed to serving the risen King Jesus. Here’s how Paul puts it in Romans 12:1-2:
12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2
What does Paul mean by spiritual sacrifice? It is a strange thing to hear in our modern ears, especially in America. Paul is writing as a fellow servant of Jesus and he is encouraging you and I to participate in serving Jesus, in one fashion or another fashion. Our “sacrifice” is our time, energy and resources that we are freely giving to God.
Here’s another concept that you may not be aware of. According to both Ephesians 2:20-22 and 1 Peter 2:4-5, believers are compared to living stones that are fitted together into the Temple of God. For God’s Spirit dwells within each believer. It’s the same Spirit that dwell within both Peter and Paul. I will let you look at the Scriptures for yourselves.
Here’s something you may not know. No two living stones are exactly alike. I do not know anything about stone masonry; however, I do know something about building a modern home. I know full well that you don’t use sheetrock for the exterior part of the house! To verify, I found a link to a site detailing material to safely use for a porch ceiling.
How does this relate to the Church, our roles as believers and impacting our nation for Christ Jesus? Each member of the local Body of Christ has a part to play; however, we are not all called to be on the worship team or stand in the pulpit and preach. If you are wondering about the above building analogy, here’s the connection.
We are not all called to serve inside a church building. If you are an evangelist or have a calling to create content related to the Kingdom of God, then your focus is likely to be outside. For others, God has placed on their hearts to serve as a volunteer at their local church.
Here’s how Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 12:14-18:
14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.1 Cor 12:14-18 NASB
Just because I’m called into an online ministry called Christianity Explained, it doesn’t mean that I can’t be a blessing to my home church. At the same time, they are a blessing to me. With the above quote of Scripture, I can hear a “But!”. Yes, I do know the pain associated with it. I’ve been to a couple of churches where it seems that I was not to stay.
Why is that? One church has a heart and a clear calling to do evangelism in the street, prison ministry or wherever God sent them. There is just one problem. I didn’t have that heart and felt that I needed to focus on encouraging the Body of Christ whether it’s by nudge or push. Those wonderful people did not need this from me.
God knew where I needed to go. Jesus already had something in mind, and I simply needed to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. When I came to my current home church, I sensed the Spirit saying “Home” and it felt like it.
For the record, I had developed a habit of wandering from one church to another one. I did not know where I was supposed to go or where I belonged. It’s true that I’d stay somewhere for a time; however, I never planted myself. As Pastor Mark Aulson once told me, I needed to be in a community of believers where I can both nourish others and be nourished. Thank you, Mark.
How did I know where I belong? Though I had a vision of my calling, I did not have a blueprint or a clear set of direction. Yes, it does help to seek God and ask God about your personal calling. Don’t be afraid of volunteering in different church ministry as these can help flesh out your giftings. Keep in mind, we are not all called to do the same thing.
Did you not just talk about a church with a specific calling? Not all churches are called to do the same thing and that’s fine. If I had been starting out and had that vision, it would have been a good idea to talk to that evangelist church’s pastor or one of its leaders. They’d likely pointed to a need to learn the fundamentals of the faith and learn my spiritual giftings.
The same thing can be said of another church that isn’t too keen on charismatic ideas. Before moving to back to New Jersey, I did attend such a church and been blessed by it. It’s here that I could see my teaching gift coming forth. I’m sure they’d helped in guiding me and be blessed by it, too.
Are you having trouble fitting in or feeling out of place in a local body of Christ? It is always best to start with seeking God, the Father. Talk with God your struggles. I can assure you that you won’t shock God or surprise him. God already knows about it and you can be honest with him. Pray for your pastor and ask the Holy Spirit to give him or her wisdom in regard to you.
Start by praying and then talk to your pastor or church leaders. Share your vision or what is on your heart. Remember, they can’t help if you don’t say something. Though I’m called into an online ministry, I have found the Spirit leading me to help in other areas connected with what God is doing with my home church. Sometimes, they help each other.