Have you ever felt the urgent need to do something, but you were not sure what and
where? That is exactly how we felt in our church. We sensed that God had placed us
together for a reason, and that He wanted us to work together to make a real difference
in our communities. Yet, we were not sure how, or what He was calling us to do. We
attempted to formulate our own visions, and then carry them out, but soon we began
to perceive that it was almost like deciding on our own what we should do, and then
ask God to bless it and gift us accordingly. There was something clearly wrong with
that, so we decided to turn the table around, and simply stated, we asked God what
His design for our congregation was.
Like a great puzzle
We began to see that if God places people together, it is not by mistake. There must
be something He had in mind. Also, we realized that if we were to look at how He
had endowed us with specific passions and gifts, we should be able to acquire a much
more realistic view of what functions we should perform within the body. It was much
like working with a puzzle. At first you see a bunch of pieces that seemingly make
no sense. It would indeed be futile to decide what image those pieces should form
and then attempt to "force" them in place. What we need to do is to begin putting
some of the pieces together as they fit naturally, as they were designed to fit.
Soon you begin to see what the overall picture was originally supposed to look like,
and that makes it much easier to place the rest of the pieces in the correct places.
So that's what we did. We began placing down the corner pieces, then the borders,
and so on. Of course, we still have much to do, but the image is beginning to become
God's will, not ours
One of the most exciting aspects of this process is to witness the growth that occurs
as the membership of the congregation begins to see that there is indeed a purpose
for us all to be together, and that such purpose is not of our own devise. God Himself
places us in the body as He sees fit. He endows us with gifts as He sees fit. He
is the great Artist, and we are the puzzle. A great sense of purpose and a desire
to be part of new accomplishments has began to sweep through our church. We know
we all have a vital role to play, and that our role is given to us according to God's
will. It is so empowering and refreshing!
As this process of discovery and reassessment of everything we do in our church takes
place, there are moments in which we experience the pangs of change. Things look
different, and it can be somewhat unsettling. What is helping us deal with this is
the excitement we all share in discovering God's greater design for us, and how we
are supposed to function together. Just like our various organs are all vitally important
and necessary for the proper functioning of our bodies, so are we in the body of
Christ. God has placed many different people, with different passions and gifts together
so that we could all work together as one body. This, however, can only be accomplished
as we operate interdependently with each other. It is just like in the body we have.
Our heart cannot decide to jump out of the body and function on its own. Both the
heart as well as the body would suffer. When we serve God interdependently, we give
our unique contribution to the rest of the body, while we also benefit from what
each part of the body supplies.
How this affects our ministries
Our ministries are profoundly affected by this approach. As we serve one another
and the community, we don't do so independently from one another. Rather, we tend
to function as a complete body, working together for mutual edification and with
the primary purpose of giving glory to God and edifying the body of Christ. However,
this also means that our ministries are constantly evolving to adapt to God's overall
design. As stated, we are not there yet, but are making good progress. So, things
can still be changing, and ministries can still be redefined and blended to the wonderful
rainbow God is drawing with our different colors. The process is quite exciting and
What about you?
If you are looking for your place in the body of Christ, we recommend that you take
serious inventory of what God has given you in terms of passion and gifts, and then
compare your findings with the ministry opportunities that are available, as well
as the need within the body. You are bound to see a match somewhere, so you can exercise
everything God has endowed you with and make your unique contribution to His church.
In our congregation we offer periodical classes geared to the discovery of your God-given
passions and gifts, and follow up with consultations and actual placement in ministries
within the body. It is a good way to facilitate this process. But remember: the enthusiasm
and the joy you will discover in serving the Lord can and should be contagious!