"But as it is, God arranged the members of the body, each one of them, as He chose." -1 Corinthians 12:18
Often times as women we can get discouraged because it seems like men have all the roles. Now I know I talked about this recently (and you can read about it if you click here) but I'm sure you all know about how you can teach Bible class or visit widows and shut-ins, or bring in food for your church pantry, etc. However, I feel like people don't talk about why we need different people doing different things. A lot of times it's just assumed that everyone does different things because God said so. Some people are elders, some are deacons, some are preachers, and some are teachers simply because God said so. However, this is not the case.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 talks about the body that is the church. It talks about how some people have certain abilities while others don't. In fact verses 27-30 break away from the parable and ask if everyone is a teacher, or an apostle, or can speak in tongues, or heal the sick or perform miracles. Clearly people no longer perform miracles (which is a whole other article altogether) but the passage doesn't become less true. Even if it's less obvious, even if it's behind the scenes, everyone has a part in the church.
A carpenter went to build a small play house for his daughter. Now, typically he worked in a large group of people and he was always in charge of the wood. So he brought over a bunch of wood that was cut properly so it would be sturdy. He started stacking the planks together and within about 10 minutes, a gust of wind came and everything fell over. The man scratched his head and tried thinking of a reason why that would happen. The man was stumped so he called up his friend who was usually in charge of hammering. He told the man with the wood that maybe he should try hammering the wood to get it to stick in place. So the man got up, put the wood back, and started hammering. About 10 minutes into this, another gust of wind came and knocked the wood over. Stumped again, the man called his friend who usually handled the nails and thought that maybe he could help. The man with the nails told him that maybe he should try putting the nails in the wood before he hammered. Suddenly, it all became clear. The man started building his house and about 10 minutes later a big gust of wind came but what he had been building didn't fall down this time.
Now, if you were the man with the wood, you would have probably already have known that you need more than just wood, or just a hammer, or just nails in order to build a play house. It seems like this would be obvious. However, it seems to be less obvious when we're talking about the church. Sometimes it seems like we all have to be teachers, or we all have to be preachers, or we all have to cook for potlucks, etc. Now yes we should do as much as we can, but it takes a lot of different people who can do different things in order to build up God's church. Some people are better at starting up Bible studies than doing the studies themselves, and some people are good at doing the actual Bible study thing but not so good at setting them up. Now I'm not saying that if you're not good at something now then you never will be, but simply that some people have a higher advantage in some things, and that it's important to use that advantage.
Today I'd like to encourage you all to look at your abilities and your advantages and use them to help in your congregation. Whatever your talent is, whether you're good with kids or older people, or you're good at encouraging people or just helping where help is needed, I'd like to encourage you all to look for places where you can help the kingdom grow.