So Jesus is in charge and pastors are servants of Jesus with specific functions in the church. What does that make those who aren’t pastors or teachers or evangelists or any of the other parts of the body with that equipping, preparing, building up function?
It makes them servants of Jesus with specific functions in the church. Every member of the body is in the exact same position. We are all under Christ’s authority. He is Head over all of us. And we all have gifts.
Listen to God’s word to his body.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11, NIV)
You have the exact same authority as any pastor does when you faithfully serve Jesus with the gift that you’ve been given by the Holy Spirit. Jesus grants you authority to do what he’s given you to do. As you humbly serve, your actions help the church.
You speak words of wisdom under his authority and the church makes good choices. You exercise your faith under his authority and the church is brought through difficult times. You discern between good and evil spirits under his authority and the church is protected. You contribute generously to the needs of others under his authority and the poor are helped. You show mercy toward sinners under his authority and sinners become saints. You lead humbly under his authority and the church follows Jesus more readily. You serve others under his authority and God’s people experience his love. You encourage others under his authority and God’s peace comes over those who are afraid.
Do you see how important you are? You are a servant of Jesus Christ. You are no less important to the body than any other member. You have gifts God wants you to use. I am a servant of Jesus too. I am no more important to the body than any of you are. I have gifts God wants me to use. We are all parts of Jesus’ body, the church. We all have our specific functions. We all express God’s grace and love in different ways as he empowers us.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 sums it all up for me.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (NIV)
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