Have you ever wondered where you fit in—in the church, in your community, in your family?
Almost everyone questions, at some point in their life, how and whether they belong. Some people possess obvious talents and strong confidence in how to best use them. But for most of us, finding our place and identifying how God wants us to serve is a humbling and difficult process.
To everyone doubting their value to the church, the apostle Paul has an encouraging message: you have value; you’ve been called to serve by God Himself; and you’ve been given exactly the grace you need to do it.
I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.” Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth? He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love. — Ephesians 4:1-24 (NET)
Questions to Consider
- Do you feel a specific “calling” to a particular job, ministry, community, or activity? How did you become aware of this calling?
- Even if you don’t identify a specific role for yourself, look back at the last few years in your church or community. Can you discern ways in which you’ve served, even if you didn’t realize it at the time?
- Have you ever felt that you were being called to serve in a way that didn’t take advantage of your natural talents and abilities? How did you understand or resolve this tension?
- Is there anyone in your church or community who seems to feel out of place or disconnected? What can you do to make them feel like they’re an important part of God’s family?