- A hand is still a part of the body, even if it wishes it was a foot. It is a hand and it functions best as a hand.
- In the same way, a guitarist is still part of the body, even if he wishes he was a children’s ministry worker! That person is a guitarist and functions best as a musician.
This verse makes it clear that your church needs you to serve using your God-given spiritual gifts. Every person and their gift is vital to the health of the church. You may not have the gifts you wish you had or the ones that seem important to you. Some people are discouraged because they hate public speaking or they don’t play an instrument. They assume there is no place for them in ministry.
But… imagine a whole church full of preachers. What a mess! Everyone would be trying to get into the pulpit while no one is ministers to babies, manages the ushers, balances the books, or sets up AV. Your contribution to the body is vital to the health of the church. Your gifts were given to you by God in order for you to give them away. You don’t keep gifts; you give them. Your church needs you to serve and you need the service of the other people within the church.
Consider what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12: 21-26,
“21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
Whether you’re an elder or a child; whether you’ve been a Christian for decades or for a few weeks; whether you are rich or poor, you need the church and the church needs you.
Verse 18 of 1 Corinthians 12 says, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.” God ordained that you’d be a part of the church that you are in right now. Your participation in this local church is no accident. There are no spare parts at your church, no extra pieces. God put every one of us in our local fellowship for a reason and that includes you.
You are a vital part of the church and the church is vital part of your spiritual growth.
Are you using your God-given gifts to serve the body or are you keeping them for yourself?