The human body is a fascinating thing. Outrageous diversity, yet one united body. The interdependency of all of our body parts – how the various members need each other and support each other – is a phenomenal object lesson for us in the Church, the body of Christ. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1Co 12:12-13 ESV). Every Christian is a member of this body and every Christian has a role to fulfill in the Church. Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing to serve His Church? What are you supposed to be doing?
Many young believers understandably ask this question at some point: “What is my gift?” You may find it helpful to rephrase that question as “What is my ministry?” or “What is my role in the Church?” but in essence the questions are all the same. And the fact that you want to do something to serve the Lord and His Church is wonderful. But how can you know what your own individual ministry is? These next few articles are going to provide you with four principles in a format that is (hopefully) easy to remember. Just think about the acronym ABBA.
The First A Is for Ability
God isn’t going to call you to do something that He doesn’t fit you for. Part of assessing whether a particular aspect of service may be something for you to focus upon is whether you have any ability in that area. You may have seen someone engaging in a valuable ministry in another local church and you recognize it is lacking in the local church where you live. But that doesn’t automatically mean you are the person to fill that gap. Your skill set may be entirely different from that of the other individual. Think of something that is within your abilities – is there a way you can use that for God’s glory?
Bear in mind, though, that you may not yet have all the ability you will need to fulfill your calling. For example, someone whom the Lord calls to be a teacher in His Church doesn’t instantly have all it takes at age sixteen. They need to work at Bible study (a lot) in order to be prepared for the role for which God is fitting them. And while a foot doesn’t change into a hand in a human body, these illustrations of spiritual truth do have limitations. The fact is, your roles in the local church may change over time as the needs in the assembly change and as your ability in different areas develops. But don’t ignore or waste the ability and opportunity the Lord has given you already. He has a particular role for each one to fulfill in His Church. “There is one body …. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph 4:4,7 ESV).