1 Corinthians 12 New International Version (NIV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
I’m not an apostle or a prophet. I don’t perform miracles and I can’t heal. I don’t speak in tongues, nor can I interpret tongues. I’m not so sure of my teaching skills, either. So, where does 1 Corinthians 12 leave me?
I met with Pastor Jenny five years ago to ask exactly that question. She had just given a sermon on spiritual gifts; 1 Corinthians was the scripture reading. Her sermon and the scripture resonated with me. I felt compelled to volunteer at Mt. Carmel. I thought that my 9-5 job securing and managing grants would be something that could be put use. I’m good with budgets, tracking money, writing grants – I thought for sure Pastor Jenny would recommend I join the Finance Team. I didn’t feel called to serve on the Finance Team; I only felt called to volunteer at church – use me as you will, I told Pastor Jenny.
We spent quite some time in her office, with her quizzing me about my work, my life, my family, and my interests. It was quite a shock to me when she said, “We need you on the Leadership Equipping Team (LET).”
I was floored – I’m not a church leader! Church leaders need to quote scripture. I can’t. Church leaders need to be beyond reproach. I’m not. Church leaders need to be virtuous. I’m not. I told Pastor Jenny that I’m a church volunteer, not a church leader. She asked me to trust her, trust God and pray. And I did. What an amazing, rewarding and educational journey I have been on since joining LET.
Here’s what I have learned: God loves that I’m broken. None of us are above reproach. Virtue is humility, gentleness, patience and love. Not all church leaders can quote scripture. Church doesn’t need volunteers but servants. I can lead. There are great friendships to be made when serving God. The first two letters of GOD are “GO!” Thriving in life means digging deeper in my faith and reaching out to others to share my faith. It’s okay to speak about and share my faith at work.
I also learned that LET does important work. We lead the congregation in encouraging, strengthening, nurturing and supporting our pastors and staff. Basically, we love on them like crazy! We hire staff, conduct their evaluations, and recommend their salaries and compensation to the Finance Team. We work with the pastors to identify servants and leaders. We provide support to our lay leaders and team leaders. It is important, rewarding, satisfying and fun.
I’m still not an apostle or a prophet. I still can’t perform miracles or heal. I still can’t speak in tongues, nor interpret tongues. I’m more confident in my teaching skills, thanks to Sunday morning small group. So, where does 1 Corinthians 12 leave me? Thankful that I trusted Pastor Jenny and God when she said, “Leadership Equipping Team.”
Serving in our church has yielded me so many blessings; I can only pray that I have given back even half of what I have received. I hope and pray that each of you will experience a journey similar to mine.
(Chair of the Mt Carmel LET Team)
Keep in your prayers:
Those who are fighting the flu.
Those who are suffering from addiction, broken relationships and grief.