We are excited to be “Re-Booting” Emmanuel’s ministries this fall, and there are lots of things happening in the life of our congregation! There are our worship services, Bible studies, youth meetings, community groups, outreach events, and other opportunities for fellowship and service to our community, all of which require participation from every member by contributing their gifts to the body. But where does Scripture speak about gifting? Where do we all fit in by contributing our gifts, time, and talents? Is there a place for you to serve the church? Absolutely! Let’s talk Scripture for a moment.

Scripture

In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and 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….

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit….

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were and ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body….

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”

The point in reflecting on this passage of Scripture is that God, through his Spirit, gives gifts to the church which are all equally necessary and integral. No one is more important than the other. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The saints (that’s everyone in the church) are to be built up to maturity, until we attain to the fullness of Christ. Speaking the truth in love, we grow up from childhood to adulthood, building the church up in love. This is the point of everyone being called and gifted by the Holy Spirit to mutually edify and build up the church. What does it look like practically though? Let’s talk about worship for a moment.

The Church Service

Every community of faith is centered on the preaching of God’s Word. This is the job of the pastors of course, but that is not the only thing that happens on Sunday mornings. We also sing God’s words back to him in the Psalms, and join our voices in songs and hymns. We read God’s Word together as we confess our sins, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, and give God our thanks for his generosity and blessings. We also share in the Lord’s Table, a family meal of bread and wine which unites us by faith, looking backward to the sacrifice of Jesus, and forward to his return.

Each of these portions of our worship service requires participation from every member of the congregation corporately. But there is more going on than simply showing up for worship each Sunday and reading along out loud. There are numerous men, women, and children in the church who labor every Sunday to make sure that the service actually happens. They volunteer their time and energy because the Lord has gifted them to do certain things in certain areas. What are some of these areas? Here are some of the opportunities in our church:

  • Choir
  • Communion Team
  • Set Up and Take Down
  • Ushers
  • Greeters
  • Sunday School helpers
  • Children’s Church helpers
  • Nursery volunteers

This brings us to one more question.

Is there a place for me to serve?

Yes! There is a place for you to serve. There are some practicalities to consider. First, to use the gifts and calling that God has given to you, you need to know what your gifts actually are. Maybe you already know how God has wired you uniquely to participate in his mission of redemption and reconciliation to the whole world through our church. Wonderful! Are you currently serving in such a capacity? If not, why not?

Maybe you don’t really know your gifting, but have some ideas. That’s great! Let’s talk and figure out where God might be leading you to exercise your gifts.

Maybe you’ve never heard of spiritual gifts, and have no idea what your gifts are. That’s wonderful as well! We can explore your gifts and calling together! There’s never been a better time to begin using the gifts of the Spirit to serve the church!

Please look through the opportunities above and prayerfully consider how the Lord might be leading you to serve at church.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Adam

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