TITLE: Service or Calling?
By Marilyn Klunder
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Non-serving Christians exist everywhere. In mega churches, big churches and small churches and the art of recruiting has never been more demanding than it is in this century. As a recruiter, I have prayed over people’s names, made phone calls, sent e-mails, used the church bulletin, web page and powerpoint slides. I have given rewards and encouraged, tried meetings, banquets and getaways and still have come up short to meet the needs of staffing my ministry.
I remember attending a women’s event within our church and the guest speaker gets up and boldly stated, “It’s o.k. to say no! Because there is a need doesn’t make it your calling.” I sank in my chair. How could she do this? As if recruiting wasn’t hard enough!
I agree that not every service need is a “calling” for everyone. But then again, “service” and “a calling” are two different areas altogether.
My particular calling is in Children’s Ministry. A calling that my pastor has refered to as a, “the fire in the belly” calling. I couldn’t deny it, refuse it or set it aside. So I threw myself into it ready to sink or swim.
My service, on the other hand, are the other things that I can do to help the church function as a New Testament church. I can clean the sanctuary, prepare communion for a month, garden in the church flower garden, mop the kitchen floor, prepare a dish for a community dinner or greet at the door on Sunday mornings. These are my acts of service. They require time and effort and yes, commitment.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians used the human body as an illustration as the working Body of Christ, the church. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Cor. 12:12)
Paul goes on to describe the working parts of the body. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the body. In his description, we can see that there are many working parts in the body of Christ. The many different ministries are the working parts of the church and as such require the assistance of the servants to keep the parts in working order. In verse 24; The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.
Some may never be called to a “fire in the belly” calling. But everyone is called to be a working part of the body of Christ. Jesus set the example as a sacrificing servant. He came to serve rather than be served. When we profess our faith in Him, we can disarm our excuses and reasons and find a place in the church to serve.
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