My first car was a 60’s vintage Volkswagen Bug. It was pale blue with a very distinctive feature on the front end. The preceding owner had tried to push a stalled truck with the VW, but the small car was no match for the heavy truck. Rather than moving the truck forward, the back end of the truck punctured the hood of the VW in two spots … like a can opener. But it still ran and it carried me back and forth to my job at the truck docks.
A friend of mine also owned a bug. He rebuilt its engine, in his college dorm room! He disassembled the engine and smuggled it up to his room piece by piece to work on it.
A question with an obvious answer: How well did my friend’s VW bug run while its engine sat in pieces in the dorm room? The carburetor over here, the points and condenser over there, the block in the corner … and the rest of the car down in the parking lot! A disassembled car simply does not run.
Believers in Jesus are like the parts of that VW. When assembled and functioning properly, the “car” runs well. Or, to think of it in terms of the biblical imagery, the church is a body. Each Christian is a part of the body with a specific function. The body “runs” well only when each part is fulfilling its function. Can you imagine what would happen if some of the parts of your physical body decided not to work, or not to work with the other parts? Call 911!
Just like your arm has a special function in your physical body, so you have a special function in the Body of Christ. The Bible speaks of this when it talks about spiritual gifts (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4). Every believer has a spiritual gift—an ability given to him or her by God to be used for the good of the Body.
During the month of October we are giving special attention to the spiritual gifts. Our hope is that each person will use a free online assessment to help in discovering or confirming his or her gift (http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1). On Sunday October 9 we will have a combined Study Group for a panel discussion with the three pastors about how spiritual gifts can be used in the body. And then for a practical follow-up, after worship that same Sunday we will host a Ministry Fair in the Fellowship Hall. Ministry opportunities will be presented and you will be able to sign up to participate in a ministry that matches your gift.
If you are a believer in Jesus, God has made you a part of the Body of Christ. You have a role and the Body of Christ functions best when you fulfill what God designed you to be.