December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”—1 Corinthians 12:12–14 (NIV)
On any given NFL team, there are 53 guys on the active roster, and while all 53 have the same goal each week to win the game, they don’t all have the same role. The quarterback has a role that’s different from the running backs or cornerbacks, the defensive line’s role is different from the offensive line, and the tight end has a different role than defensive end. And in order to accomplish the goal of winning the game, each player needs to fulfill the role he’s been given.
Like an NFL team, the Church as a whole has a goal: to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). And each individual church has a goal to win souls for Christ in their communities. And within that, each one of us gets to serve in different roles to see both the smaller and larger scale missions accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Not everyone in the Church is called to make disciples and serve the Lord in the same way. Not everyone can be a long-term overseas missionary. Some are called to plant churches, equip leaders, and bring hope, help, and the gospel to different cities and countries across the globe, but not all of us are—and that’s okay! Because we can accomplish the roles we’ve been given right where we are while still being part of the global work of the Church.
We can lay hands on, send, and intercede for people on the global mission field.
Acts 13:2–3 (NIV): “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
We can support the work of God across the globe financially and care for the needs of those who are serving on the ground.
Philippians 4:16–18 (NIV): “For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need . . . They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
We can pray for our pastors, leaders, ministers, teachers, preachers, missionaries, and brothers and sisters here and around the world asking the Lord to be with them, help them, strengthen and embolden them, keep them safe, be with their families, and to work in and through them in mighty ways.
Ephesians 6:19 (NIV): “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV): “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”
Each role has its purpose, each is valuable, and each is necessary for the mission. So, pray and discover what yours is!
Pause: Why are there different roles within the body of Christ?
Practice: Pray about your specific role in this season.
Pray: Father, show me how You want to use me to serve the Church and accomplish the great commission! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.