For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. (1 Corinthians 3:9-10)
The work we do, we do together. That is part of what it means for us to understand the church as the body of Christ. All of us are given gifts, called to use them, and share a common sense of purpose as God’s people in this place. In the verses from Paul’s letter above, it is clear that Paul sees sharing in God’s work as a shared commitment and a long-term thing. It isn’t one person does something and we check it off the list. It is something that we receive from others, add our work to it, and pass it on to those who follow.
Around the country, one of the issues facing almost all congregations is the need for getting everyone involved in God’s work.
- This is often focused on the work that the church needs in order to function (council members, committee leaders, worship and Sunday School workers, etc.). Of course, when people don’t share in these roles then the work of the church becomes pretty hard to accomplish. To be the church we all need to be involved in whatever ways we can.
- At the same time, God doesn’t see ministry as limited to “church activities.” The word ministry is about “serving” wherever we are and in whatever ways God calls. This includes living our lives faithfully at home, at work, volunteering, in the world around us and pretty much anywhere we find ourselves.
This week’s focus is on “equipping everyone for the work of ministry.” One thing that often stops us from doing what we know God wants us to do is the lack of training and support we get from others. All of us are responsible for carrying on the work of Jesus. But as God’s people, we are also all responsible for being sure we all have the support we need to answer God’s call well.