Over the last several weeks I have presented a question for us to ponder: Do I need the church? An equally important question and possibly easier to answer goes like this: Does the church need me? Sadly, far too many people think they are not needed. As disciples, we must take such notions and make them obedient to Christ. (2nd Corinthians 10:5) We do so by allowing God’s word to renew our minds. (Romans 12:1-2)
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1st Peter 4:10
For us to believe the church actually “needs” any one of us, we must first believe we have something to offer. The word of God says that “each one has received a gift.” So, God makes it clear we have something to offer His church. For a matter of fact, that gift is provided to us by God in part so we can “minister it to one another.” So, the question shouldn’t be does the church need me; but rather, what is it that God has given me so I can serve His people, as well as a lost and dying world?
“The key here is to understand that our gift-orientation does not change with our conversion to Christ. Rather it becomes magnified towards purposeful work in Christ.”
You may be wondering what is meant by “gift-orientation.” In his book, Spiritual Giftedness, Doug Hamilton talks of how people, before they even came to Christ, have interests and abilities. True, those abilities may have been used for “sinful, personal gain” before coming to Christ, but now as followers of Christ, those same abilities can be used to help “grow the kingdom.” Our efforts need to focus on recognizing our gifts, maturing those gifts and using them to our fullest potential to glorify God.
It is interesting to know that both questions find their answers on some level in the discussion of giftedness. Do I need the church? Yes! It is the first place God desires most for my gift to be used. Does the church need me? Absolutely! Why? Because you have something it needs to help it glorify God. The only thing needed now is for us to be convinced of it. Lord, increase our faith.