Diversity is one of the greatest strengths of Christianity. With such diverse populations of practitioners we are able to bring the Gospel of Christ to the world through almost as many means as there are people. Each of us provide a brick, a piece of the building.
(Image courtesy of successofwomen.com)
We’re not just building a physical structure; we’re building the Body of Christ. It is a living,. breathing, becoming thing which is meant to last through all the ages of humankind. We are the masons of our contribution. We determine what gifts we will give to the Gospel, although we are certainly blessed with specific gifts and talents. We are empowered to choose what we will do and how long we will do it. Clergy are called to a lifetime of ministry. Why should those who are not ordained hold themselves to any less of a standard? We are to be a blessing. We are to reveal the glory of God in our lives, not just a portion of our lives, but our entire lives.
So what does that look like? It looks as distinct as you do. For some, the gifts are traditional, such as preaching, teaching, mission, prayer, etc. For others, they are less recognized, but just as valuable. I have seen ministry done through knitting, through woodwork, through cooking. There can be a tendency to disregard something as mere folk craft when it actually speaks strongly about the love, care, and compassion that goes into it. I like to challenge my congregation to bring me their gifts and talents, so that we can find a place for them in the life and ministry of the church. Some of our women took their ability to knit and crochet to create our prayer shawl ministry. They make scarves for cancer patients to wear to chemotherapy, lap blankets for our members confined to bed, and baby blankets for newborns. Another gentleman in my church does woodwork and he creates liturgical furniture for us, including a pedestal for our chapel upon which we place the Advent wreath. One woman in my church has taken her love of cooking and her care for others to a new level in a ministry where she takes a surprise meal to someone each week. That would be intimidating for me, but that is where her gifts lie so she makes an extra meal and hand delivers it to someone she feels called to serve.
Can you draw? I would love to have you help me make cartoons to teach the children. Can you plant a garden? Then we could start a ministry to bring fresh flowers, herbs, and produce to our homebound members. Great with technology? Oh the things we can do with that! Every gift and talent has its place in the Kingdom of God. Something you do well speaks loudly to another, and might be one of the only ways they enter into a relationship with God, as astonishing a notion as that may seem. Where do your talents lie? Do you use them to glorify God? Make your brick and add to the Body of Christ of which Christ himself is the cornerstone.