IDENTITY – WHO AM I? – Part 11 – FROM CONSUMERS TO CONTRIBUTORS
We are working our way through a section of Ephesians that deals with the function, purpose, and health of local churches.
Paul begins with a call to unity within local churches; unity needs to be valued and maintained.
And as we continue in this section of Ephesians, we will come to understand why this call to maintain unity is so important. Valuing and maintaining unity is so important because local churches like ours are made up of a great variety of people – people with different personalities and backgrounds; different preferences; different viewpoints and political leanings. Unity does not mean uniformity (same). There should be a great deal of diversity within local churches; we should desire diversity.
So, Paul’s call is for unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.
Within the unity of our shared identity in Christ, there is a great amount of diversity. And one of the ways that diversity is manifested in local churches is by bringing together a diversity of people to serve in different capacities each using their own unique gifts.
These gifts are ways for us to serve the church family. The local church is weakened if we don’t offer our ministry. None of us have all the giftsSomeone said this about healthy teams – “What counts most in creating a successful team is not how compatible its players are, but how they deal with incompatibility.”
In verse 7, Paul connects gifting’s with God’s grace. Our gifting’s and callings are a work of Grace so that:
No place for boastingNo one has anything other than what He has received from God.
The gifts Jesus give are not just individual gifts or talents, but gifts of people. Every member of this local church is a gift from God.
We are called to go from consumers to contributors.