There are a number of things about being a pastor that I find very, very satisfying. I’ve realized one of those things is watching people in the congregation work together.
Much of the ministry we accomplish as a body requires a number of people working together, and whenever that happens there are always different ideas, personalities, thoughts on how things should be done, etc. It requires patience of everyone involved as well as an equal level of commitment. (As a note: if I had to name the one problem that seems to arise the most when people are working together it’s when one person is perceived as not being as committed or not putting forth as much effort as the others. I think people are willing to overlook a number of things if they believe someone is working hard, but if people feel like someone’s being lazy there usually isn’t much grace shown)
Anyway, this all came to mind recently watching our Friday School come together. It’s involved a handful of women in the church putting working together and putting forth a lot of effort. This isn’t much different than many of the other ministries in our church. Whether it’s the Christmas Program, VBS, Ladies’ Conference, church workdays, etc for any of these to be a success there’s a tremendous amount of teamwork involved.
I think this is what Paul was talking about in the well-known passage in 1 Cor 12:12-26 (and a little less directly in Rom 12:3-8) where the body of Christ is compared with a physical body. Two points are obvious:
- Everything has to work together. Individual parts of the body can’t accomplish anything by themselves. Sometimes people are quick to point out, “Well what about Paul? Look at how much he accomplished by himself!” I’d completely disagree with that, because Paul worked with a number of people and performed very little of his ministry alone.
- I think it becomes clear how important it is for everyone to contribute. Every part of the body is essential. When the body is counting on a part that doesn’t contribute, everyone suffers as a result.
Be praying about how God wants to use you to benefit the Body of Christ!