Sisters and Brothers
As a reminder, we mark October as Ministries Month. As the people called Methodist, who cherish the doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers, we emphasize that each one of us is called to share in God’s community. Each one of us is gifted for service, having received God’s grace, as we read in Ephesians 4:7. Paul elaborates in Romans 12: 4-6, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
Our giftedness as individuals is the community’s giftedness. Indeed, “the gifts of God are for the people of God.”. As disciples working together, we use our gifts for the benefit of each other, thereby encouraging one another on our faith journey, and building each other up. We make real Charles Wesley’s prayer:
“Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve.
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
And perfect us in love.”
Not only this, the mutual strengthening of those with whom we serve places us at an advantage in our service to the wider community. For the task assigned us goes beyond us. The mission on which Christ sends us is to go out and train all those whom we encounter.
None of us can do this alone; but we can fulfil God’s assignment when we do it together. This is because we are gifted in different ways. The love of God that invites us, the love of Christ which constrains us, invites others into the community of God. As we learn to live together, we not only enrich ourselves and those we work with. In Christ we work for the benefit of God’s whole people, including those who are yet to come to faith.
We must, therefore, take good care of the gifts that have been given to us, and put them to doing the work of God. Let us nurture our gifts and not let them go to waste. Indeed, that is what we promised to do when we confirmed our membership in the Church.
There are many services to be offered. You are probably being called to be a full-time Minister, or a Preacher, Teacher, Counsellor, or Visitor. Maybe you’re the one your Class is waiting on to serve as Class Leader. We are still in need here. Your Ministry may or may not be that of a Circuit Steward, Congregational, CARE Fund or Custodial Steward. How about serving as a Cradle Roll Secretary and seeing to the nurture of the youngest baptised members? Or taking on the Church School Class for the teenagers – we still need youth teachers and leaders in both congregations. The call has gone out for ushers. Could that be your calling? And there are a host of other ministries. One of them is fit for you for God has fit you for that purpose. The list goes on: Musician, Chorister, IT Specialist, Kitchen Cook, Helper. Whatever the task you are being called to, it is critical to the functioning of the Church, and it will help the church to better serve the community that still needs us.
Let us seek to be good stewards (ministers) of the gifts we have received, for in that way, we give glory to God.
May the Lord’s richest blessings be ours in the service of our Lord.
Joan Delsol Meade