I was shocked when I came home from worship on Sunday and found out that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash. His death, along with his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, and the other 7 people on board the helicopter, remind us of our own mortality. If someone like Kobe, who is talented, well-resourced and full of life, can be struck down in a moment, then it can also happen to any of us at any time.
Human mortality is the reason that the work of the Christian Church–sharing the Good News of forgiveness and eternal life from Jesus and making disciples for Him–is extremely important. As we read in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome: For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:13-14)
But who does the work of the church? Many people think that we give money to pay professional church workers to do the work of the church, while the rest of us sit on the sidelines and watch. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Jesus’ Church, everyone gets to play.
One of the most heart-breaking things that can happen to a kid is to be chosen last when a group of peers is choosing teams for a game of soccer or ball. It’s worse when you don’t get chosen at all. Thankfully, God doesn’t work like that.
God has chosen you to be on His team in your Baptism. God has gifted every believer to serve in one of five main roles to bless others and grow His Church. Maybe you enjoy leading others in starting new ministries. If so, you might be gifted for the role of Apostle. If you are able to share spiritual insights from God’s Word with others, you could be gifted for the role of Prophet. Perhaps you are invigorated by opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with others and lead them toward faith in Him. Evangelist would be your role. Being gifted for the role of Pastor, or Shepherd, means that you have a listening ear and you often find yourself giving comfort and encouragement to others. If you enjoy grappling with new concepts so that you can explain them to others, you could be gifted for the role of Teacher.
Here’s what is important about the five-fold ministry of the Christian Church: Our church needs everyone serving in the role which they have been gifted for, and our church needs all five of the roles to be active and engaged in the work that we are doing together. It is the only way that we can be fruitful for Jesus. It doesn’t matter if you are extroverted or introverted, it doesn’t matter if you like to conquer new worlds or stay at home and tend things there, you have a necessary role to play in Jesus’ Church.
Everyone gets to play.
Dear Jesus, thank you for bringing me into new life with You through faith. Help me to discover the role You have gifted me for and serve in that role. Please work through me to help others grow closer to You. Amen.
Note: If you want to discover which of the five main roles God has gifted you for, you can take the Fivefold Ministry Test by clicking here.