Are you a living member of the church or part of the church audience?

First of all I would like to apologise for the gap between my last newsletter and this. I had to concentrate on some other things for a season. But I am back and back with a message that’s been burning on my heart recently. But before I get into the body of the newsletter, I really believe that 2018 is going to be a very special year for us as Christians. I don’t have any special revelation to back this up other than I know that I know. It’s been encouraging for me to hear other people say the same thing but regardless of whether this is a particular conviction for you or not, I pray that you have a glorious 2018.

So back to my question. I have been meditating on the subject of the body of Christ. Since becoming a Christian, I have been fortunate to read about and witness a few moves of God. There has been the Charismatic movement, the Pentecostal movement, the Faith movement, the focus on spiritual gifts, deliverance, restoration of apostles and prophets and the list goes on. It has always been my prayer that I know and recognise when God has moved on and I am able to embrace the change. I don’t want to be in a place where I have simply built a monument on where I am and not embrace the new thing that He is doing.

Anyway, the challenge of this post is for us to examine whether we are living members of the body of Christ or audience participants who dutifully come to church on Sundays. The reason I ask is because I observe the 80:20 principle in the church. 80% of the people do 20% of the work. It would appear the other 80% go and listen to the preacher; the praise and worship team that are there to serve as well as the people who serve tea and coffee, clean the building and a few other things. The contribution to the body is minimal. But it is not just any ‘type’ of contribution, this article focuses on the ‘spiritual gift contribution’.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.(1 Corinthians 12:7)
If you find yourself part of the 80% who don’t do much, the question I would like to ask is simply this: what spiritual gift has He given you and who are you blessing in the church with it? Perhaps, there is also another question to consider alongside this, do the structures in our churches enable us to exercise our gifts or do we focus only on the gift of the leader? The latter is for a discussion for another time but I believe the scripture when it states that a man’s gift makes room for him (Proverbs 18:6). So expect there to be an opening for your gift.
Some of us might be tempted to say that our ministry is outside the church. I totally get this and gone are the days when only the clergy were ministers of God. Yes, we are all ministers of God whether in the marketplace or not, but the reference in 1 Corinthians 12 is actually in the context of the church. Continuing with Jesus’ principle: start in Jerusalem, then Judea and then the end of the earth i.e. start blessing those who are in the household of faith. There are a lot of references to ‘one another’ in the bible and they mostly refer to our relationship one with another. If your fellow church members are not benefiting from your spiritual gift, then it’s time for them to start doing so.
Now to the other 20% who are serving, the challenge is the same – what gifts of the spirit are you using? There are some gifts particularly those in Romans 12, where one could be forgiven for thinking that these are ‘natural’ gifts but a difference needs to be made. In serving in the church, are you using your natural talents (and there is nothing wrong with that) or are you functioning with a spiritual gift. Let me give an example. Say, you are a meeter and greeter at the door. Are you just handing out notice sheets, giving everyone a smile, hugging them and wishing them a wonderful day or are you using he gift of discernment in the functioning of that gift?

So to all of us, the question is have we found our gift yet and are we functioning in it? If not at all, perhaps it’s time to start using it, so you can start blessing others. For those who are serving, the question is whether you are doing this in the power and through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit?

Whatever we do in 2018, let’s partner with God and I pray that none of us would be ‘just participants’ in the church that we belong to. Instead we will use our spiritual gifts to be a blessing to the church.

So until I appear again in your inbox with more insight into the scriptures, be blessed and have a fantastic 2018.


About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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