In light of the new baptisms and new memberships at our church, I have been thinking again about God’s design for the church according to Ephesians 4:7-16 and Romans 12:4-8. Fundamentally, the church is the spiritual body of Christ; Christ is the head and Christians are the various body parts. Though all within the body must draw life and strength from the head, each member is also dependent on each other member serving according to proper function. There is a reciprocal relationship. If one member withdraws, neglects its giftedness, or is spiritually sick by sin, both that member and the rest of the body suffer. But when a member joyfully fulfills its function in seeking to serve Christ and the other members, both that serving member and the rest of the body benefit. Thus, there should be no non-contributing body parts in the church; all of us have a role to play in building up Christ’s body.
But what about when there seem to be no opportunities for service? The ongoing Covid situation has meant that many regular ministry outlets remain suspended (e.g. Sunday school classes, home groups, nursery). Furthermore, not everyone in the church can serve in the formal ministries that are available (e.g. worship team, preaching). So does this mean that we should just wait until Covid is done to serve? Hardly, for the spiritual needs of the body have not diminished in quarantine but have only increased! And no one knows how long we will be under restrictions. We cannot afford to let Christ’s body suffer so long without exercising our gifts.
So what do we do? We must remember that opportunities for informal, quiet service abound. You do not need an official ministry position in the church to serve Christ’s body. In fact, some of the most important church ministry happens in simple godly conversations inside and outside the church service. Christ’s brethren need encouragement, prayer, admonishment, teaching, someone to grieve with or rejoice with, and the meeting of practical needs. Resolve, therefore, to serve in whatever ways are available to you! Come to church with an attitude looking to serve, not only to be served. Talk to people at church but skip the small talk. Get to know people and their needs so that you can help. Engage one another with the great spiritual truths you are learning from God’s word. Take part in the weekly ministries of the church, not only as an encouragement to those leading but also to minister to the other people there. Get together with your brethren outside of formal church ministries. And if you need to take extra precautions due to Covid, mask up, use your phone, or get together virtually. Such acts of service are not insignificant to Christ and will prove a blessing to both you and the whole church (Mt 10:42; Acts 20:35).
Galatians 6:10, So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Questions to Consider:
1. How important is genuine love in any Christian’s service? Consider 1 Cor 13:1-13 and Rev 2:1-7.
2. Do you make time for other people, even in these days? If not, what is preventing you from loving Christ and others in this way?
3. What are some quiet ways you can serve Christ according to your giftedness right now? If you need some specific guidance, consider speaking with an elder or deacon.