It Takes a Church (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)


Click here to read 1 Corinthians 12

Have you ever noticed the long list of credits at the end of a movie? Five minutes can pass with credits rolling down the screen in small point font, with still more to come. When you watch a movie, you likely only concern yourselves with a few central actors and actresses. Yet, there are screen writers, producers, directors, make-up artists, music-score writers, camera people, extras, janitors, caters, and many more. It takes a small village to make a movie. Similarly, it takes all the church to accomplish the work of God.

The Apostle Paul said, in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (12:7).” He then lists various gifts that are given to the members of Christ’s church. He goes on to say, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ (12:12).” All followers of Christ have been joined to the body of Christ, and all have been given gifts to make Christ known to the world. We who follow Christ are co-dependent upon one another to fulfill our common mission in Christ.

Pastor and teacher Henry Blackaby tells the story of a church he pastured in Canada. The church felt God calling them to reach the people in their province, which contained over two hundred cities, towns, and villages. To do this, the church felt God leading them to call a part-time pastor named Len to be their minister of mission outreach. Henry confessed that they had no money to move Len and his wife or to pay him. “Henry,” Len said, “the God who has called me will help me.” Two days later Henry received a letter in the mail from a member of a Presbyterian Church in British Columbia, with a check enclosed in the exact amount needed to get the ministry going. It takes a church to do the ministry of the church. It took a member gifted in leadership to recognize the right person to equip a new ministry initiative. It took a person with the gift of teaching and shepherding to do that equipping. And it took a member with the gift of giving to support the ministry. It takes a church to do the ministry of the church.

How is Christ gifting and calling you to participate in fulfilling his ministry though his body, the church?

For further study:

Ephesians 4:7-16

Exodus 35:30-36:1

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