Last week, our church elected three young men to serve as deacons within our congregation.
I know that different traditions do things in a variety of ways. But the key point to the election of deacons in our church is simple. Deacons are elected to serve alongside the pastor to serve the members of the church.
The job of ministry does not belong to the pastor alone. It is to be a shared ministry. It is not even limited to the deacons. Every church member has work that he or she can do for the church.
In recent weeks, we have been studying the topic of spiritual gifts. Paul wrote this to the Corinthian church: “There are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:6-7).
Those verses tell us a number of things about how the church is supposed to operate. First, we see that every Christian has at least one gift. “To each is given,” Paul writes. That is not “to some.” It is not even “to most.” Paul makes it clear that every believer has at least one gift. If you are a follower of Christ, that means you.
The second main idea in this text is that the Spirit’s gifts come from God. In these verses, Paul writes, “God empowers them all,” and “to each is given.” That makes it clear that I am not to boast about any gift I may have. One does not boast when given a gift. You did not earn it — God gave it.
Finally, the gifts are not given for the personal welfare of individual believers. Paul writes they are given “for the common good.” He had the entire church in mind here. My church benefits when I use my gifts. Your church benefits when you use your gifts.
And when every member of the church uses their gifts as they should?! That church makes a difference, is blessed by God and is a blessing to its community.
Can I encourage you to seek to discover and then use the gift or gifts that God has given to you? What a blessing you could be to others. What a blessing you would be to your church. As each of us is faithful, God will use us to change lives. Spiritual gifts enable us to accomplish what we could not do in our own power.
I know that God could do it all on his own. But in his wisdom, he has chosen to work through his children. What a privilege to serve the Lord in his church.
Be faithful, and you will be blessed.