Your role in the Church of God:- Evang. Lanre Blessing
Obviously, God does not want all Christians to become pastors, or deacons, or worship leaders. He has specifically given those who are his special gifts and talents that should be used in a way that pleases him. In the local church, God has ordained for these gifts to be primarily exercised. Please do not limit this concept to merely spiritual gifts. Yes, they are primary, but God has also given us natural talents that aren’t necessarily spiritual gifts, they are just skills that we have and are good at.
Our status as a blood-bought, redeemed child of God should motivate us to be be actively committed to the discovery of our role(s).
Everyone has a gift and a calling
Gerald Sittser, a decently famous author who writes about callings and jobs, wrote, “How we look at the world around us, says something about our calling. Some people see a lack of organization everywhere they go. Other people have eye for poor health-whether it’s in physical, mental or spiritual sense-and choose a job with which they can heal people physically, psychologically or spiritually. Other people have eye for poor housing, and they work for non-profit organizations to address the problem” .
In short, Sittser is saying that we all have a unique vocation, and we must find out what that vocation is for us. A vocation is vastly different than a job. A vocation is a God-given calling, which sounds clear and unmistakably direct in our hearts. It is the work of God that brings us to a point that we know that this is the way of obedience to God. This belief is not infallible, but when we know it, it brings us peace.
Again, Sittser is really driving home the point that a vocation is different from a job. In the workplace we are dealing with uncertainties, and it is sometimes difficult to involve God. But at a vocation we have a passion for something that with all that we are, we honor God want to prove with our time investment in this calling.
Everyone must be involved
The Bible assumes that we walk in the good works that God has prepared for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10). God’s calling on and for our lives is something that must be discovered. That is not always easy, but the present and eternal results are glorious. God has called each of His followers to fulfill one specific part of His Great Commission, we are all called to be involved. No soldier can be left when the rest of the army goes out and fights for their lives.
Below are three important elements through which God wants to make known his calling. But most importantly, these are three elements through which God can and will teach us how to go about our jobs and roles in the church with a sense of purpose and and direction. He desires that all are involved:
- Know and love God’s Word
If we know God’s Word and learn to apply it in our lives, we will grow in the love for God and for others. Our eyes will learn to with God’s eyes to look around us and see what we can do for his Kingdom. God’s Word will also make our hearts burn for his mission (Lk. 24:32). In my opinion, one of the reasons why some people find the Bible boring is because they don’t see all that there is to see. Every story, every poem, every prophecy, and every letter in the Bible contains millions of miles of depth that no one has and will ever completely discover. The Bible is not boring!
God’s Word is the most beautiful thing on this earth. It contains words of life and death, and it tells its readers how to get right with God. John Piper says it this way, “ It [the Bible] is an immeasurable wonder that God has given us an inspired book containing the truth about himself and his ways and what he wills for our lives” . The Bible only has the words of eternal life. There is no other book in the Bible that can give more purpose and clarity to the discovery of one’s role in God’s church. In order to know God’s will, we must read God’s Word.
2. Look at spiritual mature people around you.
God has given people from multiple generations to the Church. He knows that one generation does not have the wisdom and zeal necessary to accomplish his task! I think that one of the most overlooked blessings of the Christian life is mentorship. The younger generation does not tap into the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that older generations have due to their experience and long walk with the Lord. Continuing on this point, Melissa Kruger, a blogger for The Gospel Coalition writes,
“ Spiritual mentoring, with the goal of equipping the saints for the work of ministry, is greatly needed in the church today. More than ever, young believers are tossed to and fro, struggling to understand truth in a generation steeped in relativism. The strong roots of older believers are needed to support younger believers so that they may grow strong in faith, be aware of and able to resist the devil’s schemes, and not be carried away by false doctrine. Over the next few months, we will continue to explore this topic in greater detail, with the hope of providing practical insights to foster and encourage the equipping of the saints for the glory of Christ” .
3. Think about the gifts that you think that God has given you
Remember that as a Christian, you are part of the body of Christ. This means that all Christians have something to contribute to the body of Christ. In addition to that, we also have received at least one spiritual gift. The purpose of that spiritual gift is to build up the body of Christ. Russel Heddendorf, who works for Geneva College, states in the book Christian Perspectives on Sociology, that“God provides spiritual gifts to people for the fulfilling of role requirements or “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). In fact, certain persons are intended by God to fill up certain statuses “so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph. 4:11–12).” 
Our Ultimate Status
Ultimately and finally, our roles are a mere expression and response to the Ascribed status that we have received from God Himself. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” . The great and inexpressible gift of God’s Son, Jesus, that came to this earth and lived a sinless life that we could not live, and died a death that we all should have died, is the only hope and reason for our status as God’s children. For those who have experienced his gift of grace through faith, may you be encouraged in your ascribed status, attained through spiritual birth. And may that be the motivation to love God’s Word, find godly and spiritual mentors, and discover our gifts so that we can find out what role God wants us to fulfill in His Church. Our roles in the church should glorify Christ, that is the purpose of our roles. I’m reminded of a song that we sing in our church that I pray is the desire and prayer of all who seek to be involved in God’s Church:
Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive. To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ! All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!