Every member of the church (our local church AND the church as a whole all over the globe) has a specific role God created us for. We are all given specific characteristics, talents, and gifts by the Holy Spirit that enable us to carry out these roles.
If for whatever reason we fail to fulfill our role, we create a missing link in the church. A missing link that can’t be filled without us. Just as a body fails to function properly if any organ, tendon, muscle, bone, etc. stops working, so the body of believers can’t function to its fullest potential if any of its members aren’t fulfilling their roles.
Can you imagine what the body of Christ could accomplish if we all did what we were called to do? Can you imagine how many lives would be saved and how many people in need would be helped if we all chose to embrace our God-given gifts and talents and carried out His will together?
Just seeing us working together as a unified body to help others and loving them the way Jesus loved us would be enough to cast out the darkness of our fallen world. If we worked together as Christ intended, we would be a force that nothing could stop and no one could ignore.
So how do we do this? Well, it starts with the individual. It starts with us each filling our own unique role. How do we do this?
First, seek God. Delight yourself in Him and let him shape you into what He needs. Let Him prove to you that He is all you will ever need and that His calling for your life is the only thing that will ever bring you true peace. When you embrace this truth, you will be more willing to devote your life to His calling for you.
Then, be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Choosing to fulfill your role in God’s kingdom is not a one-time thing. It is a daily thing of asking the Spirit to lead you where He wants you to go. Be open for Him to mess up your plans and put you in uncomfortable places and situations. Again, remember there’s peace waiting for you there.
Lastly, continuously be in His Word. The Word is such a powerful tool that we have at our fingertips. Yet so many people rarely use it as such. We may do our daily reading just to check off a box on our spiritual to-do list, but do we actually dig deep when we read? Do we come with the expectation that not only does God want to speak to us through His word, but also that He will?
The Word tells us that once we’ve been buried with Christ, we are a new creation. When we’ve been born again, we are completely brand new. However, if we don’t continuously fill our minds with the truth found in God’s word, then we don’t ever move forward and grow spiritually by allowing that truth to transform our minds. And if we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backward. And if we’re moving backward, we are not becoming who God needs us to be to fulfill the role He has given us in His church.
The roles He gives us are many and varied. We may be called to be a leader, a teacher, a student leader, a youth worker, a missionary, an encourager, etc. But we may also be given more familiar roles that we don’t always recognize as “spiritual.”
How about the role of a mother or father? We often think of those roles as for the home and the other “spiritual” roles as for the church. But why can’t our roles as mother and father be a spiritual calling? They should be. There’s hardly anything more important than raising up the next generation to know and love God and to follow his son, Jesus.
The problem is that we often separate our roles as parents from the church. Maybe it’s because we see so many non-Christian examples in the media and around us of what parents are supposed to look like (not all of them bad) that it’s just easy to go with the flow and follow their examples. This is even more so the case if the parent hasn’t had any positive examples in his or her life before of what a Christian parent is supposed to look like.
But there’s a huge problem with this “separation of church and home” mentality. Our children will start to separate church from home as well. They won’t grow spiritually because one or two hours of church a week isn’t enough to feed them spiritually. They will have more non-Christian influences (school, media, friends) than Christian ones. And they won’t ever learn what a Christian home looks like. Thus, the cycle continues.
It’s up to us as parents to take the initiative and ask God to help us lead our children on the path to a personal relationship with Jesus. We need to take our roles as parents seriously and realize exactly what’s at stake. There’s no room for excuses of not enough time or too much work. The next generation’s spiritual welfare is on the line, and if we fail there, they won’t be willing to step up and take on their roles in the church.
It’s going to take all of us doing their part to fulfill God’s perfect plan. The good news is, when we’re fulfilling His plan and working together with other believers, it doesn’t feel like an obligation or duty. It just feels like harmony.